Alice Kasten Riggs

  • Born: August 21, 1919
  • Died: February 3, 2019
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
Tel. (210) 227-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

Alice Kasten Riggs, age 99, of San Antonio died February 3, 2019 surrounded by her family. She was born August 21, 1919 to Major William Henry Kasten and Florence Bell Kasten at Fort Sam Houston which was then an Army cavalry post at the edge of town. In the years that followed, she grew up on Army assignments in Panama; Fort Ethan Allen, VT; Ft. Riley, KS; Ft. Bliss, TX; Honolulu, HI; Chicago, IL; Ft. Riley, again; Richmond, VA; and Ft. Clark, TX.

In 1941, Alice met the love of her life, William Earl Riggs, while attending a dance in San Antonio at the Gunter Hotel for cadets from Randolph Field. It was the day before Pearl Harbor. She told her grandmother, "I've met the most beautiful man, and Granny, he's a solid citizen." Bill described Alice after their first date on December 7, 1941, as "looking like a queen." Then reader, she married him!

For 57 years, Alice was Bill's sweetheart, wife, and the mother of their four daughters—Molly (1943); Cathy Lynn (1945); Kimberly Ann (1949); and Kelly Kasten (1955). The girls—Alice's "Little Women"—were raised on various military assignments from 1943-1970 in Texas; New Mexico; Massachusetts; Alabama; the Pentagon in Washington, DC; Lincoln, NB; and finally Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, where Col. Riggs commanded the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. Over the years Alice served on Officers' Wives Club Boards and as an advisor to Family Services.

After 30 years in the Air Force, Alice and Bill moved to San Antonio in 1974.
Here they bought their first house, affectionately known as Ft. Windway, that has been a base for the Riggs family for the last 45 years. No matter where her daughters traveled, the road always led back home. Alice's devotion to her husband and family was first and foremost in her heart and she instilled that in her children.

In her lifetime, Alice celebrated 100 Thanksgivings, 100 Christmases, 100 New Years. Before her death, her children and grandchildren honored her with "early" 100th birthday celebrations, much to her delight and serenaded her with "Jesus Loves Me." Blue skies, Mom!

Alice was preceded in death by Col. Riggs in 1999 and their daughter Molly Gingerich in 2011. Alice is survived by three daughters--Cathy Salter and husband Kit of Hartsburg, Missouri and grandchildren Hayden and Heidi; Kimberly Chandio of San Antonio, and grandchildren Adam, Aliya and husband Mustafa, Nissa and Suleman; Kelly Witteman and husband Jack, Mr. Darcy and Lizzy who filled her home with joy; and son-in-law James Gingerich and grandson Christopher and wife Jessica. Alice also left great-grandchildren Zehra Darugar, Saira Darugar, Simone Gingerich and Sofia Gingerich; sister-in-law Mary Lou Riggs and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. The family extends special thanks to Patty Navarro and Embrace Hospice caregivers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Windcrest Volunteer Fire Department, Windcrest Texas, or the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

A graveside service at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and family gathering will take place at a later date.