David C. Rigsby, who served more than 20 years in elected office for the City of DeLand and is credited with helping revitalize the city’s award-winning downtown, died Sunday. He was 69.
Mayor Robert F. Apgar, who served with Mayor Rigsby on the City Commission, expressed his condolences for his family and friends.
“Our community has lost an impassioned leader and avid supporter of the City of DeLand,” Mayor Apgar said in a news release. “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.”
Born in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida native earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture with special studies in urban design from the University of Florida.
After graduation, Mayor Rigsby was hired in December 1974 as DeLand’s Superintendent of Parks and Urban Beautification before he was hired by Stetson University in 1978. He retired in January as manager of Stetson grounds and senior assistant for special projects after 42 years with the university. Under his leadership the immaculate grounds at Stetson won numerous accolades, including 2018 when the university was named among the 25 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the South by Country Living magazine.
“My husband, Richard, and I tremendously respected and admired Dave and his 42 years of leadership at Stetson,” said Stetson President Wendy B. Libby in the release. “He was a remarkably creative, talented, and civic-minded man.”
Mayor Rigsby served on the the City Commission from 1980 to 1993 and as mayor from 1993 to 2001. Also, he was president of the League of Cities from 1998 to 1999, and was the recipient of the E. Drew Harris Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor given annually by the league.
A memorial wreath has been placed by the David C. Rigsby Municipal Complex sign in his honor.
He leaves behind his wife, Kate, three children, Jennifer, Josh and John David, and step-children Jessica, Will and Dorie. He also was the father-in-law of City Commissioner Kevin Reid.
Services had not been announced as of Tuesday.