Mary Rigsbee celebrates 103rd Birthday at Magnolia Crossing

Left to Right: Pam Sarantos; Dan Rigsbee; Chuck Rigsbee; Lynne Ashbeck, Clovis Mayor; Constance Peters, Executive Director Magnolia Crossing, standing behind the Birthday girl, Mary Rigsbee (Photo Magnolia Crossing)

March 8th 2024– Mary Rigsbee celebrated her 103rd birthday at Magnolia Crossing, the assisted living facility near Old Town Clovis.

“She is our oldest resident here,” Says Executive Director of Magnolia Crossing, Constance Peters,” You know that’s something so beautiful for us, we thought she deserves to be celebrated. And what’s most beautiful about her 103rd birthday is that she had her 100th birthday here, and we did her 101st, 102nd, and now her 103rd.”

Peters says that this birthday is so important to Magnolia Crossing, because the facility is just 6 years old, and Rigsbee has lived at the facility for about 5 years. “Here, you just feel more at home,” Rigsbee says.

Rigsbee’s daughter, Pam Sarantos, says that she comes to visit once a month for a week, and her brothers and cousins come to visit with Mary the rest of the time.

Besides family time, she gets to spend a lot of time with friends. “I have a lot of friends!” Rigsbee says, and Peters agrees, “She does have that little group of friends that she can have meals with…they hang out during meals and after meals.” And they ask after one another if someone is absent from the table, Peters says, “It’s a beauty that she’s 103 and she gets really involved.”

Mary Rigsbee was raised in Clovis, by farmers and cowboys, and the Rigsbees remain a major Clovis historical family.

Pam Sarantos, her daughter, recounts that Mary lived with her father on a plot of land on Locan Avenue, where they raised figs, before moving into town later in her life. “We lived on a ranch in Clovis,” Sarantos remembers, “until 2003, and then she moved into town.”

Rigsbee’s two sons, Dan and Chuck, still live in Clovis, along with many of her grandchildren and other relatives, and she is content to have lived her whole life in Clovis. “Most people ask me, did you ever leave?” Rigsbee says, “[there have been] a lot of changes, a heck of a lot, but it’s a nice little town.”

Rigsbee says she doesn’t know how she’s lived this long, but she enjoys her exercise classes and watching sports on television. “If there are pro rodeos on and stuff like that, I like to watch those.” Rigsbee says, along with tennis and golf. However, she maintains that the Hallmark channel is too “phoney”.

“She’s never been really ill, she didn’t even have a cardiologist until, what, two years ago,” Sarantos laughs, ”So, she’s a pretty healthy person, honestly.”

Rigsbee worked at Clovis Auto Parts as a bookkeeper until she was 81 years old. “You should work if you’re able, and I was able,” Rigsbee says.

“Yeah I like it, I always liked it,” Rigsbee says, about Clovis, ”so I’ve just stayed.”

On March 8th, Mary Rigsbee shared her birthday celebration with the staff and fellow residents of Magnolia Crossing, with live music, a food truck provided by Loving Seed, and a visit from friends, family, and the Mayor of Clovis.