Blanche Iona Meek Rigert was born on February 4, 1936 in Aurora, IL to Edith (Thomas) Meek and Stafford D. Meek. She and her siblings were raised on the family farm in Elburn, IL. After graduating from high school, Blanche continued her studies in music education at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. Blanche taught junior high music for three years, during which she met and married Max Rigert on Feb 9, 1963.
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Blanche and Max moved to Mineral Point, WI to serve the Congregational UCC Church. Here they welcomed their first born child Hans, who tragically died at the age of six months. It was with great joy in 1965 daughter Heidi was born. Blanche continued her adventures of a young mother and wife of a minister as she joined Max on a three year tour of military service in Germany. In 1966, prior to deployment, son Franz was born in South Carolina. Daughter Gretchen was born in 1968 in Nuremburg, Germany. With three children under the age of four, Blanche and Max returned to the states to settle in Delavan, WI where they would remain for 40 years. Daughter Krista was born in 1973.
During those 40 years, Blanche was a private piano teacher for hundreds of students, directed the children's choir at the Delavan UCC church for 25 years, and sang in the adult choir throughout her tenure. Additionally, she became a substitute teacher and an accompanist for several young musicians. Blanche was active in nearly all church activities and became a dedicated PEO member.
In 2009 Blanche and Max moved to the Fairhaven Retirement Community in Whitewater. It was here that Blanche was cared for until her death on March 28, 2019. Blanche was particularly known for the comfort she brought to others, whether it was through her homemade baked goods and her garden preserves or her radiant smile and quick laughter.
Blanche was preceded in death by both of her parents, her brother Stafford Meek, Jr., and her first born son Hans Frederick. She is survived by husband Max Rigert to whom she was married for 56 years and four children and their families. Heidi Rigert (Clive) and children Alexius, Nicholas and Elizabeth Burton; Franz Rigert (Trinn) and children Mitchell, Jordan and Marianna Rigert; Gretchen Rigert Navarro (Dave) and children Mia, Nathan and Anika; Krista Rigert Kim (Eric) and children David, Lewis and Nadia. She is also survived by her sister Blen Lakin (Perry), brother Lee Meek (Joanne), sister in law Charlotte Meek, sister in law Margaret Tyne (Lee) and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in honor of Blanche Rigert to the Fairhaven Memorial Fund. Mailed to: Fairhaven Retirement Center, 435 W Starin Rd, Whitewater, WI 53190
A visitation will be held Sunday, April 7th from 12-2pm at Fairhaven Retirement Center.