Robert 'Bob' Rigler

robert rigler
Robert Raymond Rigler, 90, of New Hampton, Iowa died on February 27, 2013, at Grand Strand Regional Health Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, his winter home and the state where he and his Charleston, South Carolina bride were married. His family was at his side; their love for him is deep and true. He was born on January 5, 1923, in Great Falls, Montana, to John P. and Ferne Barr Rigler, and moved to New Hampton, Iowa in 1931 where he was introduced to banking by his dad who founded the Security State Bank. While attending the New Hampton schools and at the University of Iowa, he excelled academically and athletically. He worked his way through the University of Iowa as a waiter in the student union. Following his 1943 graduation from the University of Iowa, he served in Calcutta, India, as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army. After World War II, he was employed by the Harris Trust and Savings Bank, Chicago, and in 1947 became the assistant cashier of the Security State Bank. In 1954, Bob was elected to the first of four terms to the Iowa Senate where he served as the Republican floor leader. Gov. Robert Ray appointed him to the Iowa Highway Commission (later, the Department of Transportation) in 1970 where he served as chair for several years. Subsequently, he was named Iowa's Superintendent of Banking. At the time of his death, Bob was board chair of the Rigler Investment Company and the State Bank & Trust Company. He was a member of many organizations including the Order of the Shrine, American Legion, New Hampton Rotary Club, and the New Hampton Golf & Country Club where he won multiple men’s club championships. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Virginia Es’Dorn Rigler, of New Hampton; four children and their spouses, Nancy Rigler and Pat Burke of DeKalb, Illinois, Jane Rigler and John Tighe of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, John and Cheryl Rigler of New Hampton, and Robert and Maeve Rigler of Alexandria, Virginia; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Daisy. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers William James Rigler (in infancy), John B. (Jack) Rigler, and granddaughter Elizabeth Rigler. Cemetery: Burial will be in New Hampton Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the Rigler family and will be allocated to the following organizations: Chickasaw County Food Bank, Dollars for Scholars, New Hampton Public Library and the University of Iowa's Rigler Scholarship Fund. Visitation will be from 3:00-8:00pm on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton and will continue at the church one hour prior to the service. Funeral services will be at 10:30am on Friday, March 8, 2013 at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton with Pastor Kevin Frey officiating.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Ginny & family, Our deepest sympathy and prayers to all at this time of sorrow in your lives. Bob was a great man and always greeted us with a smile. He will be well-remembered for the many things that he did for New Hampton and the State of Iowa. May he rest in peace.

  2. Ginny and family — Please accept our deepest sympathies on the passing of Bob. He was truly a great man and will be missed by all. Remember all of the great times that you had as a family.

  3. Ginny and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. Bob was a great guy and will be missed by many people. He did so much for New Hampton over the years and his family. May you have many memories to help you through this, God be with you all.

  4. Ginny and family,
    You have our deepest sympathy for your loss. Bob was a wonderful, compassionate human being who will be missed by many individuals whose life he touched in one way or another. We always enjoyed golfing with both of you when we lived in NH. Joe loved it when Bob blew his whistle when he sunk a birdie. Fond memories to treasure! May he rest in peace!
    Joe and Sharon

  5. Ginny and Family, You have our deepest condolences.The world has lost,but Heaven has gained one Classy man! God bless you all.

  6. Ginny and Family,Our sympathy,thoughts and prayers are with you all. Bob was a very special person and will be missed by many people in New Hampton,he did a lot of good for our community.Just remember all your wonderful memories.Tom and Marian

  7. Our sympathy goes out to all the family and friends of this very respectful and supportive man. He was always willing to support the things that he knew were right. Thanks Bob for all you did for us and all those around you.

  8. Rigler Family, We will miss seeing Bob at the bank during the summer months. He always had a smile and made sure to say HI when he seen us at the bank. Please except our deepest sympathy.

  9. Rigler Family….many condolences on Bob’s passing. What a great fella. I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who was as proud of where they came from as Bob was. I’ll always remember our conversations. Bob always wanted to know two things. How’s the golf game, and how are Heather and the boys. You can rest assured that Bob has already scheduled his first tee time on the great course up in the sky. -Ryan and Heather

  10. Dear Rigler family, our thoughts and prayers to you. Bob set an example for all with his love for his family and country. He was a fair and kind man and always greeted you with a smile. He will be missed by many. God bless.

  11. Ginny – we so enjoyed having you and Bob in our neighborhood. To Ginny and the whole Rigler family, we extend our deepest sympathies. Bob was such a classy, caring, and generous fellow. May the memories you hold in you heart bring healing and peace to you.

  12. Ginny & Family, We are so very sorry for your loss. New Hampton & the state of Iowa has lost one great icon. Bob was a true hometown friendly man who stood his ground in what he believed in but would also welcome you into his home & ask you sit down to visit to see how things were going. He will always be a very respected man. Thinking of you & your family, Dan & Peg Testroet

  13. Ginny and Family-Our sincere sympathy to you all.
    Today you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Cherish all your fond memories of Bob.


    Louise and Donn

  14. Ginny and Family, You have our deepest sympathy! Bob will be missed by many. He was a wonderful man and it will not be the same at the club without seeing him there occassionally. His generosity and warmth made him a very special man.

  15. Ginny and John and family, You have our sincere sympathies at your loss. Bob and I may have bumped heads once in a while, but that never prevented him from offering a smile or a handshake or a pat on the back. He was truly a good man.

  16. Ginny, John, Cheryl and all of Bob’s family: We so enjoyed meeting and getting to know Bob when we moved to the neighborhood. He was always friendly and willing to visit at the bank or in the front yard with Daisy. We are very sorry for your loss. He was an amazing man.

  17. I first met Bob on the Golf Course in New Hampton on a couple’s golf night. It was my first time at that fun night and we were partners. He was a great man and he always had good advice on the course. He will be missed by all. The Rigler family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. John, Cheryl, Virginia and family;
    I’m am so very sorry for your loss. I first meet Bob at one of the bank golf outings that was held in Waverly several years ago. What a kind and outgoing man he was. I have always had a lot of respect for Bob, and really got to know him so much better at the bank board meetings. He will be missed by all. Take care and God Bless. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  19. Our deepest sympathy to Ginny and family. Words can’t express what a good man Bob was to his family, his community, and hs state. He was a fair and honest man. May Bob rest in peace and Ginny and family find comfort with family and friends.

  20. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time. Amber just adored Bob and getting to visit with him at the bank as well as cheering on her basketball teams.

  21. To the Rigler family- Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Bob will be missed by all that had the opportunity to know him. It was a great honor to work for and with Bob for 10 years, and I will always remember him for the classy and caring man he was. May the Lord grant you all comfort and strength in the days to come. There is a special place in heaven for guys like Bob.
    All our best- Craig & Lisa Anderson and family

  22. Virginia and family-Our sincere sympathy to all of you. Mr. Rigler was an icon in New Hampton and the state of Iowa. I always enjoyed visiting with him when we were back in New Hampton. I grew up seeing him at the bank, when I would stop in to see my mom. Heaven is a much brighter place, and has a lot more class today, with his arrival. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. We send a hug to you our sweet friend Ginny! We have lost a great friend and a true gentleman. Our sympathy to all of the Rigler family. God Bless

  24. Dear Ginny, John, and family:

    So sorry to hear about Bob and your loss. I cannot imagine a better husband, father, or grandfather. The Register was right when they said we have lost a lion of a man.

    Bob simply had a zest for life and he used his abilities to accomplish so much. As a young golf caddie in the early fifties, we were proud to know a guy that often had his name in the Des Moines Register. My parents always said it was just impossible to beat Bob and Ginny in a Husband/Wife tournament. My mother was about his age and told me that her dad, Sheriff Upham, said that that lad was going to amount to something because he was a terrific paperboy.

    My first memory of Bob was the 1952 mock Presidential debate at St. Joe’s. Bob was the guest speaker and he really inspired us. About the same time, we all wanted to caddy in his group because they were the best players. I did caddy some for his dad, Jack, who could still compete with his son on occasion. It was a nice relationship and one of them would often give me a ride from their place on east Main.

    Living in the DC area, I would sometimes send Bob an article on current events. He had a lively interest in national politics especially if Iowa Congressmen were involved. He always sent a gracious note in reply. His positions made a lot of sense and he listened respectfully to the opinions of others. He was well dressed, hospitable, and polite. These attributes served him well.

    Our golf games displayed his competitive nature and he did not like to lose. He wanted to win but was the first to congratulate another player’s good shot. I will always remember his “birdie whistle.”

    During the last dozen summers, I was fortunate to be among the many who stopped at the bank to see Bob for a short visit. They were always lively and memorable.

    The Rigler family generosity is well known and appreciated. As a child of the depression, a WWII vet, successful banker, and an outstanding public servant, he provided his hometown and state with so much to respect. More than any of this, he was most proud of helping Ginny raise additional generations of good people.

    I am so grateful that his vitality lasted for so many years. He truly will be missed.

    Mark Donovan

  25. Please accept our sincere condolences. May the words quoted from this song bring you a measure of comfort as it did for us.
    ”If a man should die, can he live again?
    Hear the promise God has made:
    He will call; The dead will answer.
    They shall live at his command.
    For he will have a longing
    For the work of his own hand.
    So have faith, and do not wonder,
    For our God can make us stand.
    And we shall live forever,
    As the work of his own hand ”(Job 14:13-15)

  26. To the Rigler family

    Please accept our sympathy, currently we are in Cabo San Lucas, and just want you to know we are thinking of you.
    Ironically, we planned a trip to MB in April and was looking forward to going to Chuck’s with you. One never knows. God bless. Roger and Jean kolbet

  27. Ginny & Family – I was saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. New Hampton and Myrtle Beach have both lost a great man… one of the finest gentlemen around. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. Ginny and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Bob was a “class act” in all of his endeavors. We remember that home made bow tie and wing tip shoes; the “driver” he cherished and could still slam down the fairway. Oh how he reveled in pulling out his little black book at the dinner party for the year-end accounting for his golf 4-some. It was all there! Bob had a curiosity and knowledge of everything going on around him. He had an ability to express himself in a way that was unique and constructive. He was respectful of differing opinions along the way. Bob was indeed a true gentleman and he will be missed not only by his family but all of New Hampton and the State of Iowa. May he rest in peace. Rich and Marge TeKippe

  29. May the love of Jesus Christ surround the entire Rigler Family during this time of sorrow and sadness and give you His peace. Bob showed “True Grit” during the farm crisis with his banks solid support of the farming community during those dark and difficult economic times. Thank you Lord for sharing your humble servent Bob with us during our earthly journey. Bob was truly a gentle man with compassion and caring for everyone no matter their social status. We will miss you Bob.

    God Bless
    Doug and Trish Betten

  30. Virginia, Nancy,Jane,Joh, and Robert,
    I only wish I could express the impact that Bob had on our lives and so many others. Such an expressive person, willing to share good books, and just being there to guide me expecially with this health issue . He will be missed on earth but welcomed in heaven!!
    Ken & Jeanine

  31. Ginny and family you have my sympathy. Bob and Ginny were 2 of the nicest people I have ever met…….went to church with them as a child and got my first loan from Bob when I was 12…..a lawnmower! I took care of their yardwork and shoveled their snow as well as the bank for several years. As everyone else here has said Bob was a very fair man….and would always listen and provide advice or an opinion!! Great people!! As ALL have said the family has done MUCH for this community!! RIP Bob! I enjoyed our many visits!

  32. I am related to Bob through our fathers, Dwight and John who were brothers. My contacts with Bob were through Christmas letters where we shared common interests, the Republicans and the Hawkeyes. I recall as a child writing to Bob and Jack while they were overseas in WW2. This was important to my father because he saw action overseas inWW1. My heartfelt sympathy to Virginia and well as Daisy.
    Gene and Carolyn Houk
    Lauguna Vista, Tx.

  33. Nancy and Rigler Family:

    LaDell and I were saddened to hear about the loss of your father. We both had fond memories of your father and his impact upon our lives, as well as the lives of those in the New Hampton community. Please know that our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

  34. New Hampton has lost one of its strongest supporters. He was an interesting AND interested man. While we were not always on the same side of a discussion, his remarks were inciteful and made me look more closely at my own beliefs. His generosity and community service were examples for all of us to follow. I will miss him and our book talks.

  35. Ginny, John & family: Bob Rigler was a public servant in the best sense of the word. I covered Bob on the Highway/DOT Commission for five years for the Des Moines Register. Bob always told the truth. You could trust his word. In 1975, he told me forthrightly that he had taken Vic Preisser to the Governor’s office before a long truck vote. There was nothing illegal, but Bob knew this information, on the front page of the Des Moines Register, would cause a ruckus. He didn’t have to tell me where he and Vic had gone and it probably would have taken us several days to find out, but Bob answered my question forthrightly. In my 45 years in journalism that was the best example of a public official giving a straight-up answer to a loaded question. It gave me a helluva story helped my career big-time and I never forgot it. It will be worth the drive up Friday to pay Bob my respect for that incident alone.
    Beyond that, Bob was, in journalistic terms, “good copy.” He was fun. State government needs more people like him.

  36. I first met Bob when I was a teenager. We were introduced by my father, Bob Phillips, and played golf at Finkbine. Little did I know that two generations of our family would have the privilege of working with this incredible man. It was Bob and others like him (Jack Schroeder, Cliff Nolan, Dutch Vermeer, Ralph McCartney) who inspired me to go into government relations. Bob Rigler was the epitome of class, integrity, and dedication. I am proud to say I knew him. Please give my condolences to Virginia. Rick Phillips

  37. We only know John and Cheryl, but we extend our deepest sympathy to all of you in Bob’s family. What a positive life he led, a gift to all of us.

    God be with you.

    George and Janet Hanusa

  38. Dear Virginia and family
    Our thoughts and prayers go to you and your family during this diffucult time.
    God Bless
    Jean and Dan Scott

  39. Our heartfelt sympathy to the Rigler family. Robert was a true Gentleman, a giving man to his family and his community.

  40. Rigler Family. My deepest sympathy to each of you. It truly ws a blessing knowing bob. god Bless.

  41. Dear Ginny and the entire Rigler Family,
    Our hearts are heavy as we extend our heartfelt sympathy and prayers. You are all an amazing family because of all the things your Father has taught you. We have truly enjoyed getting to know Bob as our neighbor and at the golf course. Visiting with Ginny yesterday, we said, you two have certainly ‘done it all’! With a spark in her eye, Ginny said, “Yes, yes, we have!” We all know how very much Bob will be missed…but most importantly, we all know how he is welcomed home….Sincerely, Dave and Terry

  42. My prayers and thoughts go out to your extraordianary family. It was an honor to know you. You are loved and admired by all who knew you

  43. Ginny & family, Bob was a very special person. No matter where one saw him he had a smile, a wave & “hello” for you. It is a pleasure to have known him. The Rigler Family is in my Thoughts and Prayers. God Bless, Evelyn Kahn

  44. Virginia,

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. It was so good to see you both at Mom’s funeral last August. Please know that my thoughts are with you and the kids.


  45. We were saddened to hear of Bob’s passing and you have our sympathy. Times like this always bring back so many memories of growing up in NH and the family friendships that were made. Bob was influential in helping me get my first real job with the Iowa Department of Transportation and he also influenced my desire to go into banking. It was nice to read of his many accomplishments – so much for all of you to be proud of.

  46. My deepest sympathy to the entire Rigler family. So many fond memories from childhood to adulthood. Every time I would come back the NH and go to the bank Bob would be there and always had time to talk – amazing. You were such dear friends of my parents and to the entire NH community. Thanks Bob for being such a wonderful human being. May God’s grace and promise give you peace and comfort.

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