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Riley Andrew Degginger, 5, of Granby, earned his angel wings peacefully on Saturday, August 4, 2012, after a year-long battle with a rare brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). He was in the arms of his parents, Andrew and Mary Ann Degginger, and with his little sister Micah.
Riley was born in Denver on March 4, 2007, and then began his life of adventure at Snow Mountain Ranch - YMCA of the Rockies, where his family lived. You could say Riley was raised by the staff and many campers at Camp Chief Ouray, where he was a favorite frequent visitor, often in costume for theme parties, or to sing along at campfires.
Riley was bright and funny with a sense of humor beyond his years, and he loved to play, dance, sing and tell jokes. He was a fierce competitor at board games and cards. From an early age Riley loved sports, and he began playing mini golf at Snow Mountain Ranch when he was only 2. He was a great putt-putter and got his first hole-in-one in November 2011 on his Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World.
Riley loved gymnastics and enjoyed hiking, playing and enjoying what his mountains had to offer. Sister Micah was his constant companion and friend. They attended Eternal Hills Christian Preschool in Tabernash together, and Riley was very proud to graduate in June.
Riley is survived by his parents Louis Andrew and Mary Ann (Schaefer) Degginger and sister Micah; maternal grandparents Richard and Kay (Hall) Schaefer of Wolf Lake, Ill.; paternal grandparents Louis and Jan (Merrill) Degginger of Columbia, Mo. and great-grandparents Louis Degginger Jr. of Kansas City, Mo. and Sylvia (Hughes) Merrill of Columbia, Mo.; and a loving family of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A service to celebrate Riley's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 10 at Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Snow Mountain Ranch for the Miniature Golf Course, Children's Hospital Colorado Neuro-Oncology, or the Make-a-Wish Foundation. See http://www.grandcountymortuary.com/book-of-memories/1303888/Degginger-Riley/index.php or http://www.facebook.com/pages/teamRAD/154994174582173 for more information on these charities.
Friday, August 10th, 2012 10:00am, Church of the Eternal Hills
Riley has been in the hearts of mid-Missourians for a long time, especially a group we call "The Pinkel Ladies." His grandmother, Jan, was kind in sharing stories of Riley's family and his progress so that we could laugh with them and cry with them. Throughout the year our group has prayed for Riley and his family and looked for ways to brighten some days for them. It was with great pleasure that each of us contributed a small piece of a quilt and searched weekly for a book, a card, or a toy that we hoped would bring smiles. Your joy was our joy; your grief is our grief. Each of us will remember and love Riley forever as a member of the wonderful Degginger family.
Faye Crow Aug 27 2012 12:00 AM
So many thoughts, prayers and love to all of you during this very difficult time.
Gina Aug 10 2012 12:00 AM
Borrowed Angels -Kristin Chenoweth They shine a little brighter, they feel a little more They touch your life in ways no one has ever done before They love a little stronger, they live to give their best They make our lives so blest, so why do they go so soon? The ones with souls so beautiful I heard someone say-- There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life They come along, into this world, and make this world bright But they can't stay forever Cause they're heaven sent And sometimes, heaven needs them back again They reach a little deeper, they see what's in your soul And even when they leave you know, you'll never let them go The world's a little richer, just cause they came along Their love goes on and on, so why do they go so soon? The ones with souls so beautiful. I heard someone say-- There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life They come along, into this world, and make this world bright They can't stay forever, cause they're heaven sent And sometimes, heaven needs them back again How else can you explain why they're here and not here to stay? I believe there must be, must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life They come along, into this world, and make this world bright But they can't stay forever, cause there heaven sent And sometimes heaven needs them back again. And sometimes heaven needs them back again.---------------------------------- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApDbmHGe-KQ
Lisa Aug 9 2012 12:00 AM
When I see a reddish sunset, I will know that my silly little buddy is making everybody crack-up in heaven! Love you always and forever.
HOPPY Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM
Below are the words of one of those who shared their beautiful words of love and sadness at this time. My words seem so inadequate so I will repeat hers "I followed the Journal entries and found them filled with faith,hope,love,and much strength and courage.He is now in the house of his God, and can run and not grow weary. May that same God give you love, comfort, and peace". God Bless your family
Randy and Sherry Vigallon Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM
With love and hugs to all. Remembering that tiny baby in my arms in the CCO Office. Rocking him to sleep when he was fussing and would not settle down. A true Angel among us. Now Riley spends his days with ALL the Angels we have seen go before him, to welcome him into their arms. I truly wish that I could be there in person. With MUCH love, Terese
Terese Boeck Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM
We were saddened to hear about Riley. May God bless you and your family in this difficult time.
Jason and Debbie Ellis Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM
Our deepest sympathies for the loss of such a beautiful young man.
Eric & Linda Benton Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM
so sorry to hear of rileys passing. may the beautiful memories and his wonderful spirit remain with you forever.
Shawn Otterson Aug 8 2012 12:00 AM