Lela Agnes Rigdon, 1920-2020

Lela Agnes (Lewis) Rigdon of Exeter, Calif. passed away peacefully on June 16, 2020. She was 99 years old. Lela was born Dec. 23, 1920 to Phillip and Adaline Lewis in Kinsley, Kan. At the age of 3, Lela and her family moved to Exeter.

She later married Laurance “Cuddie” Rigdon in 1940. The couple raised Cleo Moore as their own. Living in Exeter, Lela began working as a nurse. In 1948 she began working at Memorial Hospital of Exeter, then transferred to Redwood Springs Care Center in Visalia. She worked as a nurse for 30 + years.

Lela had a creative mind. She loved reading, making crafts, writing poems and songs, coloring as well as dancing, and boating! Her favorite songs were, “When We All Get to Heaven,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson.

She is preceded in death by her son Cleo Morris and sisters Pearl Gillespie, Edith Reese, Frances Moore, Ella Bell Usrey and La Verna Rice as well as nephew-in-law Lester Gary. Lela is also survived by her family Marie Gary of Exeter, Doug and Branda Gary of Exeter, Gabe and Marla Gary of Exeter, Melissa Landers of Exeter; grandchildren Justin JJ Moore, Brian Morris and Brandy Blankenship; nephew Lloyd Reese and nieces Lawanda Buce and Shirley Reese; as well as many great nieces and nephews. In addition, her dear friends Dalisa Fisher and Darla Rambongo.

The family would like to give special thanks to Delta Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for taking such good care of her.

Private funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 25 at the Exeter District Cemetery. Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel in Exeter. Condolences may be made at SmithFamilyChapel.com

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