Doris Thompson Riggin, age 87, of Ventnor was called home on Sunday, October 29 surrounded by her loving family. Doris was born in Atlantic City on August 14, 1930 and graduated from Atlantic City High School. She worked at various positions in Atlantic City and New York City before meeting her future husband William A. Thompson, Jr. when they worked together at the Ritz Carlton in Atlantic City. Bill would go on to become a councilman and then the Mayor of Ventnor City before passing away in 1977. However, that was Doris’ cue to get to work. She was appointed to fill his unexpired term as a commissioner in Ventnor and she continued to serve the people of Ventnor for several years after that. She was also faced with Bill’s real estate business, Thompson Realty Company of Atlantic City, of which he was the broker. Doris was up to the challenge, obtaining her broker’s license and taking over and running the business until her death, because try as we might we could not get her to retire. She was joined in the business by her son Dennis. She also served as President of The Atlantic City and County Board of Realtors for three terms in 1983, 1984 and 1986. She served her church by acting as bookkeeper for St. James parish for many years and more recently as a Eucharistic Minister.
Doris’ other business can best be described as “Mom to all.” It all started with her days as Den Mother to the Cub Scouts and Room Mother and PTA member at St. James School, but it continued for a lifetime. All of her children’s friends were made to feel welcome at the Thompson house. Then as the children met their future spouses she went out of her way to make sure they knew that they were a part of the family. When she married Nick in 1983 the family extended but that just meant more family and all were made to feel at home. Nick brought her great happiness and they enjoyed many happy years together until his death in 2012. Everyone who knew her felt they knew her as “Mom” and she would not have had it any other way.
Doris’ family will miss her strength, compassion and leadership. She was our true matriarch. Doris was predeceased by her first husband, William A. Thompson, Jr., her second husband Nicholas S. Riggin, and her sister, Elaine Groper. She leaves behind her children, William A. Thompson, III (Susan) of Absecon, Patricia T. Shannon (Brian) of Brick, James A. Thompson (Ginger) of Woodstock, GA, Edward M. Thompson (the late Jackie) of Ventnor, Dennis P. Thompson (Kathy) of Linwood, Terri Fox of Newark, DE, Gerald Riggin (Mary) of Safety Harbor, FL, Michael Riggin (Sandy) of Mays Landing, Thomas Riggin (Christine) of Swanee, GA, 23 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephew, and her brothers Charles Danenberg and Arthur Beiger.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 4, 2017, 11AM at the Holy Trinity Parish: St. James Church in Ventnor, with visitation beginning at 9 am. Burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Mays Landing.