He was born in Marlborough, the son of the late Edward F. and Mildred P. (Campbell) Rigney, and was a 1968 graduate of Marlborough High School. He graduated from Quinsigimond Community College in 1978 with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and later from Fitchburg State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.
Mike was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, serving as a helicopter pilot, and he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star & Air Medal. In 1972, he began his 32 year career in law enforcement with the city of Marlborough Police Department, retiring in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant. He was a past president of the Marlborough Police Patrolman’s Union from 1978-1988.
He enjoyed camping at Swanzey Lake in New Hampshire with his family, captaining his pontoon boat, enjoying a fine cigar and playing friendly games of poker. He was an avid Patriots fan and spent many years tailgating with family and friends. He loved the game of football, coaching Marlborough Pop Warner and at Marlborough High School over the years. He and his wife Betty enjoyed traveling and especially loved ocean cruises.
He was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, as well as a number of other veterans groups.
He will be remembered as a proud, loyal, committed, determined man. He was devoted to his family and affectionately called “Baba” by his five grandchildren.
Besides his wife, he leaves his son, Richard B. Rigney and his wife Abigail of Barre; his daughter, Sally A. Rigney of Marlborough; a brother, William Rigney and his wife Diane of Marlborough; a sister, Barbara Rebeiro and her husband Ronald of Haverhill; five grandchildren, Noah, Madeleine, Andrew and Jillian, all of Barre, and Jackson of Marlborough; and many nephews and nieces.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fitzgerald & Collins Funeral Home, 378 Lincoln St., Marlborough. Burial with military honors will be held at 1 p.m. in the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glenallen St., Winchendon. Calling hours will be held Monday, Sept. 14, from 5-8 p.m., in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the MGH Fund or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
All are invited to sign Mike’s online guestbook at www.CollinsFuneral.com.