Stetson University staff, faculty and students and scores of DeLand residents are mourning the loss of former DeLand Mayor Dave Rigsby, who died over the weekend at 69.
A post on Stetson’s duPont-Ball Library’s Facebook page was one of many remembrances of Rigsby floating around social media Monday morning.
“The library offers its condolences to [the] family and friends of Dave Rigsby, longtime Stetson staff member (recently retired) and former Mayor of DeLand,” the post reads. “Dave is responsible for so much of the beauty on our campus, including the landscaping and the Vietnam War Era Remembrance site. Dave and his wife, Kate, have always been great library supporters and advocates, and we will miss him.”
Rigsby was a DeLand city commissioner from 1980 to 1993, and mayor of the city from 1993 to 2001.
In January, after 42 years as the Stetson University groundskeeper, Rigsby retired.
Rigsby “liked to say he had the nicest office on Stetson University’s DeLand campus,” during his time at the school, according to a Stetson Today article about his retirement.
Prior to arriving at Stetson, he was the city’s superintendent of parks.
He was involved in many civic organizations in the city, and remained interested in its affairs even after his time as mayor.
In a city news release, DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, who served with Rigsby on the City Commission, expressed his condolences for Rigsby’s family and friends.
“Our community has lost an impassioned leader and avid supporter of the City of DeLand,” Apgar said. “I had the honor and privilege of serving alongside Dave for 13 of the years he was in office. He served this community with grace, distinction and integrity. He was a good friend and always supportive of me. I will really miss him.”
Stetson president Dr. Wendy Libby also praised Rigsby.
“My husband, Richard, and I tremendously respected and admired Dave and his 42 years of leadership at Stetson,” said Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, PhD. “He was a remarkably creative, talented, and civic-minded man. I was so thankful that he and his team had an opportunity to put into action Dave’s vision for the transformation of the Stetson University campus; no doubt, he deserves the lion’s share of any praise for the stunning beauty of our campus.”