Bessie A. Rigas
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Bessie A. Rigas
  • February 2, 1938 - December 20, 2017
  • Cypress, Texas

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Vasiliki "Bessie" Rigas fell asleep in the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Bessie was born on February 2, 1938, in the small mountain village of Milia, Nafpaktos, Greece, to Alexios and Paraskevi Katsigiannis. In 1961, she immigrated with her parents and siblings to Dover, New Jersey. In 1962, she married Tony Rigas. She had two children, son John and daughter Voula.

Throughout her life, Bessie embodied a can-do spirit and hard work ethic. Despite having only a 6th grade education, Bessie and her husband managed to own several businesses, both in New Jersey and later in Houston, Texas. Anyone who ever met her knew the passion she had for her family and her faith. She worked tirelessly at both and was very proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Bessie was very involved in her church, St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church, and held several leadership positions over the years. Those included serving for several terms on the Parish Council, Festival committee, and as the president for many years of the Ladies Philoptohos Society. Whatever she did for the community of St. Basil's, she did with passion and love. In turn, the community was her extended family, and she treated everyone at St. Basil's with maternal love.

Bessie is predeceased by her husband Tony, parents Alexios and Paraskevi, her brothers Bill and Kostas Katsigiannis, and her sisters Anastasia and Eleni. She is survived by her son John Rigas and wife Carrie, and grandchildren Becky and Andy; her daughter Voula and husband Gus Taxiarchou; grandchildren John and his wife, Laurie Taxiarchou, and Tony and his wife Jessica Taxiarchou. She was also blessed with two great-grandchildren, Anthony Taxiarchou and Scarlett Taxiarchou. She is also survived by 4 sisters, Irini Tsounakas, Xanthe Katsigiannis, Georgia Poulos, and Gladys Paravalos, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and God children.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, December 22, at noon, at St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Eldridge Pkwy., Houston, Texas 77077. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make donations to St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox church in memoriam of Bessie Rigas.
Bessie's life was very fruitful and her work will continue to multiply through her family and her church. May her memory be eternal.