Dr. Liam Riggs

Dr. Liam Riggs, 64, passed away at his home on January 22, 2023, after a short illness.  He was an Assistant Professor in the Tech Division at Kansas City Kansas Community College.  He was born in Kansas City, grew up in southern California and attended high school in Lincoln, Nebraska.  He moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1994.  He married his wife Brenda, on July 7, 2007. 

Liam recently achieved a long-time dream of obtaining a PHD in Education.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, and his Master’s Degree and PHD at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.  

Liam’s true passion was teaching.  He took an interest in each of his student’s progress through his program and sometimes beyond.  Liam loved music.  He played the bagpipes, the Irish drum, the piano, the tin whistle as well as the guitar.  

Liam is survived by his wife, Brenda (Krones) Riggs, his brother John Riggs and sister-in-law Linda, his sister Kathy Clark, his sister Pat Culley and brother-in-law Chet Culley; his son-in-law Shawn Burchard, his daughter Ashley Riggs; his granddaughters Lydia Riggs and Elysha Riggs-Johnson, her husband Bryce Johnson and son Charlie; his grandsons Demoni Metcalf, Nevaeh Metcalf and Lucas Burchard.  He is preceded in death by his twin sister Maury, his daughter Heather, his father William Riggs and his mother Ida (Albin Riggs)

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), whose members are Irish and Catholic.   In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the AOH (Hibernian Charity Appeal) donations may be made in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th St. Lawrence, KS 66044.

Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence.

A Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2023 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence with a visitation to follow until 8:00 p.m.

28 Condolences

  1. Sharon Fowler and Chris Winkel on January 25, 2023 at 11:04 am

    My heart goes out to my Grandaughter/daughter Elysha and her family.Liam was a great father,grandfather and overall great person.He will be missed.Sharon Fowler and Chris Winkel

  2. Andy Sprehe on January 25, 2023 at 11:22 am

    Being Irish was embodied by Liam. As his friend and brother in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Fr. Donnelly Division, Liam graced us with his bag piping talents at all our Irish parades in the KC Metro area. God Speed and Slainte my Irish brother.

  3. Christy Coble-Robison on January 25, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Sending my deepest condolences to Ashley and her family. You father was always so nice and welcoming. I remember having sleepovers and listening to him play the bagpipes. You and your Dad had a very special bond. He will always be watching over you. “Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.”

  4. Patrick Dolan on January 25, 2023 at 12:47 pm


  5. Ryan Harris on January 25, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    Being a fellow member of the AOH led me to meeting Liam this last summer. His passion for teaching, his students and being a Hibernian were contagious. May the road rise up to meet you brother.

  6. Shandy Vollrath on January 25, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    My sincere condolences to Liam’s family on his passing.

  7. Stephanie Fisher on January 25, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    I knew Liam from Rockhurst. He was a fantastic man and always told the class great stories and made us laugh. I’m so sorry to learn of his passing.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. He spoke so highly of his beautiful family.

  8. Janette Harrison on January 25, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    Didn’t know Liam well. I did meet him. He made Brenda happy and smile. They had a lot same interests. She loved him playing bagpipes ❤️. My Condolences Love Janette

  9. Shawn McAllister on January 25, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Liam You were one of my Brothers Best Friends and we will miss you. You were involved my nephew’s life too helping the football league get their schooling done so they could stay on the team.

  10. Jaden moore on January 25, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    As a recently graduated student of liam’s the time I knew him wasn’t very long but in the time I knew him he was one of the most charismatic people I knew. Not only was he an amazing teacher he was a great friend who I thought of as family and it is incredibly saddening that he has left us but I know he is having a blast in the great machine shop in the sky. I pray for his family and all those that he has taught in his years as a teacher.

  11. Zachariah French on January 25, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    As a student of Liam, I have known that Liam has always wanted to help his students in anyway possible. He would always help his students when asked and would always teach by example. It was always a good experience everyday with something new to learn. I thank him for giving me and others the opportunity to learn a trade that others might not even know exists.

  12. Charlie Roult on January 25, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    A fellow brother Hibernian in the Fr. Donnelly Division, Liam was always good for telling stories over a pint or two. He would have smile on his face and a glint in his eye. Almost as if he was the Nordic Kris Kringle he dressed up as one year for our Christmas party. A costume he stitched himself, no less.

    He was an educated man, a musical man, and a Godly man. He was our friend and brother. He will be deeply missed.

    Condolences to Brenda and all of the family.

  13. John kevin mcallister on January 25, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Liam the world was a better place with you in it. You conquer all that you wanted to accomplish. You live the life of a warrior poet. And now you get to walk among gaints of knowledge and legend. And they will say this man is our equal he is one of us till we met again. God speed and may the force be with you.

  14. Elaine and Patrick Barry on January 26, 2023 at 2:19 am

    I know him through Patrick Barry my husband, I only wish I got the pleasure of meeting and knowing him. I know my husband thought fondly of him. My condolences to the family. xxx

  15. Ashley Richter & family on January 26, 2023 at 9:16 am

    I was lucky to have Liam as a classmate in our doctoral program at Rockhurst. He was so warm and kind, and his passion for teaching and love for his family was evident. I offer my sincerest condolences for your loss. We are keeping you in our prayers.

  16. Kat Clark on January 26, 2023 at 9:21 am

    I love you little brother, you will always be in my heart and memories. Your quick wit and sense of humor will always make me smile. My condolences to Brenda and Ashley and the rest of the family. Until we meet again.

  17. Braden Eagan on January 26, 2023 at 11:51 am

    I’m a current student of Mr. Riggs and he will be deeply missed. He was a great teacher and I learned a lot from him in the 5 months I had him at KCKCC. My deepest condolences to his family, so sorry for your loss.

  18. Rich Piper on January 26, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    My incredible education brother. At the TEC Center we will miss every time you were asked how you were doing today? You would share ‘Living the dream!!’ Your big heart fpr caring for our students was exemplary to all of us at the TEC Center. I appreciate the precious times we got to share a Guiness in KCK, Louisville, Ky and Saint Charles, MO as we explored different education and training models to better serve our students You were a very precious and priceless unicorn in the education industry. You had unbelievable knowledge in machining and fabrication parts and also as a Tool and Dye journeyman. The you add you went and earned your bachelors, masters and PHD in education makes you a double, triple unicorn. My heart hurts that you have been called home to teach the angels how to make a part or a dye. With you being called home, us at the TEC are even more dedicated to serving. I/we miss you my brother. We will carry your legacy as we make an impact on our students so the make take care of themselves and their families. To Liams’ family their are no words to express our deepest condolences as we celebrate the life of Liam Riggs; except, love and with you!!!!!!!

  19. Maria Anthony on January 30, 2023 at 8:00 am

    Liam was an inspiration to so many of us. He will greatly missed. Condolences to the family from Maria Anthony and Monty Schneck.

  20. Marshall Dominguez on January 30, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Brenda and family

    My Heartfelt condolences on the passing of liam. He was one of the few instructors I spent much time with at the technical school. He enjoyed his work and sharing with me his accomplishments. We would also laugh about life.

    It was my pleasure to know him. May God give you peace and comfort during this very hard time. No he was respected and cared for by many. He is dearly missed.

    Marshall Dominguez

  21. Vincent Riley on January 30, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    We were cousins at family reunions ,but friends also. I saw his band, he saw mine, he loved his Irish music, limericks and bawdy pirate tunes. Liam playing Bagpipes at my father’s funeral it was real touching. His folks introduced my parents on a blind date. They met, fell in love, married and traveled the world. I’ll miss him alot.

  22. Mallory Skinner on January 31, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in a few classes with Liam during his doctoral program at Rockhurst University. I enjoyed many conversations with Liam, both about the class material and just about life. His passion for teaching and for learning alike came through in every one of those conversations. It was very clear to me how dedicated he was to his family, his friends, and his students. I am blessed to have known him, if even for a short time, and I am so glad I got to be there as we completed his last course toward his goal of receiving his PhD. I pray God’s peace and comfort over those who remain behind on this earth to grieve this sudden loss, and I send my sincerest condolences as well.

  23. Scott Wagner on February 1, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    I am so very sorry to learn of Liam’s passing. Liam and I joined the church together at St John’s in 1995-96. I have very fond memories of our times in RCIA and the great discussions on church teaching we had. He had a great enthusiasm for life and will be missed.

  24. Susan Tabor on February 1, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    I met Liam when he was coming into the Catholic Church. He was such a pleasure to know and loved his family so much! He also made good beer! I offer my heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family.

  25. Christine Oliver on February 2, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Brenda and the whole family. He will be very much missed. Liam(Mike) and I go way back from our High School days.
    Even tho I don’t have face book, I have been able to keep up with him thru my children and was able to see him a few years ago. when he came up to Stugis.

  26. Chef & Dean Cheryl Runnebaum on February 3, 2023 at 3:24 pm


    You will be missed beyond belief! I loved being your co-worker and leader at the college. Your contagious smile, laugh, and upbeat personality always brightened my day. The Cosmetology students loved having you get your hair and beard dyed in preparation for holidays, especially St Paddy’s day. I will never forget when you played your bagpipes at a division meeting, it was so cool!

    Your love of teaching, student success, and willingness to go above and beyond was recognized and appreciated. You were so passionate about student success and obtaining jobs, the legacy you left behind is great.

    I will miss you so much, our talks, laughter, and interactions. You were a special person and we were so honored to have you on our team. It was so great to collaborate with you on the future of the program and watch your vision develop.

    Until we meet again my friend…fair winds and smooth sailing.

  27. Alex P on February 3, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    I’ll never forget how he came into the office everyday, with a huge smile on his face, telling everyone he was living the dream. He was always excited to show off all his new machine technology equipment, talk about his family and was a joy to be around. His loss is devastating, but he left such a good mark on the world.

  28. Brian McCoy and family on February 4, 2023 at 11:11 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Liam was a great man. He always treated me as his own. He will be missed. Love from our family to yours.

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