William George Riggan

BOULDER, CO – William George “Will” Riggan, 80, passed away March 10, 2021, at Mesa Vista of Boulder due to complications from Frontotemporal Dementia. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut, June 11, 1940, the son of the late George and Merle (Robinson) Riggan.

Will received his BA from Haverford College, Haverford, PA, and a Master’s in Urban Education from Columbia Teachers College in New York City and later his Ed.D, also from Columbia Teachers College. In 1998, he received a Master’s in Counseling Therapy from the University of San Francisco. 

Will’s interests was in education, both as teacher and administrator. After college he taught English and mathematics at the Watkinson School in Hartford Connecticut and worked summers as an Upward Bound teacher at Brandeis University and Tufts during this same period. In 1970 he served an internship in the Education Division of the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, responsible for Head Start. From 1972-75, he was Research Director for the Fleischmann Commission reviewing the cost, quality, and performance of elementary and secondary education in New York State, the results of which were published by Viking Press. From 1975-79, he served as Director of the Childhood and Government Project, at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1990-96, he taught math first at El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, CA, and then at the Guerneville School in Guerneville, CA. In 2002, Will became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California, working out of Santa Rosa, and also a Clinical Supervisor for M.E.N., Men Evolving Non-Violently.

Will had a hell of a sense of humor, an exuberant belly laugh, and remarkable charisma. He collected rare books and close friends. He could really tell a story and was a master of Halloween disguise. Will had a passion for baseball – he coached high school ball – and for desert retreats. He led multiple wilderness rites of passage trips to Joshua Tree, CA. Will was always passionate about learning, and was especially focused on the spiritual realms in the latter half of his life. 

Will leaves his brother Rob Riggan of Shelburne Falls, MA; and sister, Deborah Katz of Greenfield, MA; two sons by his first wife Jane Riggan of Arcata, CA: Benjamin Riggan of Cali, Columbia; and Daniel Riggan of Boulder; daughter Emma O’Connor of Sebastopol, CA; daughter of the late Anne O’Connor; and granddaughters Tehva, Celeste, Kaitlyn, Braelyn, and Aliah.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff at Mesa Vista of Boulder, and especially to Christine Sheehan, for their professional and loving care. 

The family plans a private service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mesa Vista of Boulder. 

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