Honoring the Life and Dedicated Service of Charles Hutton ``Bull’’ Rigdon, Jr.by Representative Jeff Miller
Posted on 2014-12-11
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, it is with profound sadness that
I rise today to recognize the life and service of my friend, Northwest
Florida's beloved Charles Hutton ``Bull'' Rigdon, Jr. Throughout his
long and distinguished life, Bull was a devoted family man, a patriotic
veteran and civil servant, committed civic leader, an exceptional
elected official, and a great friend. The entire Northwest Florida
community mourns the passing of a truly remarkable man.
Bull Rigdon was born in Portland, Florida on September 29, 1929, and he spent the majority of his childhood years growing up in beautiful Northwest Florida. A true patriot, Bull served with honor and distinction in the United States Army, where he served in both World War II and the Korean War. After leaving the Armed Forces, Bull continued his service to our Nation as a civil engineer working at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Thanks to his hard-work and commitment to excellence, Bull's 43-year career as a civil servant at Eglin Air Force Base was marked with wide-spread success and acclaim.
Both during and after his extremely successful civil service career, Bull was also deeply involved as a leader in Northwest Florida's civic society. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a church elder, as well as a Mason and Shriner, serving as Past Potentate of Hadji Temple and Master Mason of Alpha Lodge #172. In these capacities, he helped touch the lives of countless individuals in Northwest Florida, and he served as a true example of selfless community service.
Bull was also a dedicated local official, serving for decades in various electoral capacities. In 1964, he won a seat on the Fort Walton Beach City Council, where he served until 1981. During this stint on the City Council, Bull also served numerous times as Mayor Pro-Tem of Fort Walton Beach. Bull rejoined the City Council briefly in 1985, when he was asked to fill a temporary vacancy, before returning to the City Council full time in 2010, where he continued to serve the people of Fort Walton Beach until his passing.
In addition to his exceptional service on the City Council, Bull also served for three decades on the Okaloosa County Gas Board, representing the people of Okaloosa County. He played an integral role helping to attract businesses and promote economic development in Northwest Florida, as evidenced by his election to serve as the first Chairman of the West Florida Regional Planning Council, as well as his service on the Tourist Development Council Board. On top of these impressive civic duties, Bull also served as CEO of the Northwest Florida Fair until his death. In recognition of his impressive leadership and dedication, the Fort Walton Beach City Council voted in 2009 to name the fairgrounds in his honor.
To some, Bull Rigdon will be remembered as a patriot, who answered the call to serve this great Nation with honor and distinction, first in the Armed Forces and then for more than four decades of exceptional civil service at Eglin Air Force Base. To others, he will be remembered as a man of great faith, who took on important positions at his church, and as a long-time elected official who went above and beyond the call of duty to serve the residents of the community that he called home. To his family and those of us who were fortunate enough to get to know him, Bull will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the United States Congress, I am proud to recognize the life and legacy of Charles Hutton ``Bull'' Rigdon, Jr. My wife, Vicki, and I extend our deepest prayers and condolences to his wife Helen Hunt Rigdon; children, Karen Rigdon Hughes and Charles William Rigdon; grandchildren Charles William Lamkin, Lauren Ashley Rigdon, Blake William Rigdon and Montana Dodson; sister, Ouida Rigdon Miller; stepson, Michael B. Dodson; and the entire Rigdon family.