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History

Riggs & Bugbee-Riggs Funeral Homes, LLC is a family-owned and operated funeral home that's been operating in Southern Ocean County, New Jersey, area since 1920. We are honored to be a part of the rich history of this community and plan to be a part of it for many years to come.



Our founder, Charles J. Riggs, the youngest of ten children, who was a farmer’s son from Hammonton, graduated from Hammonton Elementary and High schools and later attended the Dolan College of Embalming and Funeral Directing in Philadelphia; graduating in 1939.

He moved to Barnegat to serve his apprenticeship under J. Anderson Bugbee in September of 1940. Charles’ pay was 5 dollars for six days of work. Unfortunately, Mr. Bugbee passed away only 3 1/2 months after Charles started working for him. Charles continued to work for J. Anderson’s widow and finished his apprenticeship under Marv Campbell, becoming a licensed Funeral Director in 1944.

Because Mr. and Mrs. Bugbee had no children of their own when Mrs. Bugbee passed away in 1950, she left half the business to Charles and the other half to their nephew Anderson B. King. When Anderson decided to pursue a different career path, Charles bought his half and became the sole owner in 1956.


In 1958, he broke ground in Ship Bottom, NJ and built his second funeral home, opening in 1959. The Ship Bottom location has sustained through two major storms, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 (pictured) and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


Thirteen years later, Charles decided to expand again and he built his third funeral home in Forked River, opening in 1972. Charles retired his license in 2013 at the age of 92. (1920 - 2016)

 

Charles had three sons. His first son Charles Jr. died in 1955. Gary, his third son, graduated from Mercer County Community College’s Funeral Program in 1978 and worked as a funeral director until his passing in 1992. Robert, his second son, had worked for his father since 1973. Currently all of Charles’ grandchildren are funeral directors.

 

Bob & Charles
Charles in suit
Ship Bottom 1959

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