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Shannon Olon Rigsby

Shannon Olon Rigsby
Shannon Olon Rigsby
- June 9, 2017

Shannon Olon Rigsby passed away unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Shannon was born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 1, 1970.  An Air Force child, he spent his childhood in various locations, including England and Colorado, before finally settling in Sturgis, South Dakota as a teenager.  He graduated from Sturgis Brown High School in 1988.

He studied at South Dakota State University for four years where he found his love for language, and cultivated lifelong friendships.  Shannon was enlisted in the Army National Guard in Brookings, South Dakota.  After four years, Shannon transferred to the Navy, where he was assigned to an intelligence division.  A talented linguist, Shannon became fluent in Russian language in Monterey, California and greatly enjoyed his time stationed in Kunia, Hawaii.

Upon receiving his honorable discharge from the Navy, Shannon entered law school at the University of South Dakota.  He simultaneously earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota and a Masters in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.  Shannon was deeply involved with the USD Law School’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Board.  He graduated in 2002, earning honors distinctions from Vermont Law School. 

While in law school, Shannon met and married Cassandra Lynne McKeown.  They married in May 2001 and together raised their daughter, Ashley Nicole McKeown.

As an attorney, Shannon’s experience was broad, including working as a solo practitioner in Sioux Falls, as a Deputy Prosecutor for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and as the registration officer for the University Of South Dakota School Of Law.  He immensely enjoyed his work for the tribe and the law school and carried fond memories of his dedicated colleagues.  At the time of his passing, Shannon was anticipating his re-enlistment with the National Guard as a Judge Advocate General.

Shannon was intellectually very curious and broadly read in history and science.  His primary joys in life included spending time with his father, who had a profound influence on his life, playing games of strategy with his sister, Laura, whom he cherished, and hanging out with his dogs.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Jo Kludt. 

Shannon is survived by his father, Olon “Russell” (Cindy) Rigsby, Sturgis, SD; sister, Laura Ann Rigsby Graczyk, Deadwood, SD; siblings, Daniel Angus McLean (Ana), Laurel Springs, NJ, Carleen (Eric) Colhoff, Spearfish, SD, and Jennifer McCaskey, Nisland, SD; former spouse, Cassandra McKeown; daughter, Ashley McKeown; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and comrades.

Services will be held at Black Hills Funeral Home, 1440 Junction Ave, Sturgis, on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm with Chaplain (Ret.) Herb Cleveland officiating.  Internment will follow at 2pm at Black Hills National Cemetery. Military honors will be rendered by the US Navy and the Sturgis Volunteer Honor Guard.  A reception will be held at the Sturgis Vets Club, 868 Main Street in Sturgis at 4 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends and loved ones make a donation to a humane society or dog rescue in Shannon’s name.

Friends and family may sign Shannon’s online guestbook and leave written condolences for the family on the Black Hills Funeral Home website.



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