Dr. Perry Gardner Rigby, M.D., of New Orleans, 85, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2018. Born in East Liverpool, Ohio, he was preceded in death by his father Perry Lawrence Rigby, mother Lucille Orin Rigby, and brother David Lawrence Rigby. He is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara Commander Aalders Rigby.
He attended St. Charles Ave. Presbyterian Church faithfully for many years. He loved to play tennis, was an avid reader, enjoyed classical music and the opera, and had a passion for history.
Dr. Rigby had been serving as the Director of Health Care Systems at Louisiana State University in New Orleans since 1994, a Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Medical Education Commission of the State of Louisiana. He was a former Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He was a teacher and mentor to the Fellows as well as Associate Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. He served as Chancellor of LSU Medical Center from 1985 to 1994. Previously, he served as Associate Dean, Acting Dean, and Dean, as well as Chairman of the Clinical Board at LSU in Shreveport, Louisiana, from 1978 to 1985. During his tenure there, he spent additional time as Chairman of the Dean's Committee for the VA Hospital.
He received his undergraduate degree, Summa Cum Laude, at Mount Union College in 1953; and his M.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1957. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Virginia and Fellowship in Hematology at Boston University. First employed in academia at the University of Nebraska, he taught Internal Medicine, Anatomy, and Medical Education. He also served as Director of Hematology as well as Dean of the Medical School. He had been a Professor of Internal Medicine since 1969. He was selected as a Markle Foundation Scholar in Academic Medicine (1966) leading to, among other things, consulting for the World Health Organization in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Chosen as a diplomate by the American Board of Internal Medicine and as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Rigby was also a longstanding member of the American Federation of Clinical Research, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, the American Medical Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation. He authored and co-authored approximately 180 articles and abstracts.
Dr. Rigby received many awards throughout his career, and was particularly proud to be chosen as a Mentor of the Year by The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation in 2017. He was also honored as a Laureate by the American College of Physicians in 2015, and received a Silver Anniversary Leadership Award granted by the College of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1997. Additionally, he received several grants from the National Institutes of Health. In 1987, Dr. Rigby received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Case Western Reserve University. Recently he was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Award by Marquis Who's Who.
Dr. Rigby served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1962 to 1964. On Monday, May 14th, at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, visitation for family and friends will be at 1:30 PM, with services from 3:00-4:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Dr. Rigby's name to the LSU Medical School Foundation.