The greatest use of life is love. The greatest expression of love is time. And the greatest time to love is now
because you may not have that opportunity tomorrow. -Dennis Rainey, Family Life Today

Martin Anthony, 4/9/85—12/22/10

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
-Philippians 1:21

Meet Anthony

Nicole Danae, 7/7/83—12/22/10

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears, those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. -Psalms 34: 4-5

Meet Nicole

Thoughts, Prayers and Memories

Scroll to the bottom to post your thoughts and prayers.

A note from the Patersons:

On Dec. 22, 2010, a plane crash took the lives of our precious daughter and son-in-law, Nicole and Anthony Riggan. While we will miss them every day of our lives, we know for certain they are happy together enjoying the unfathomable love of our savior, Jesus Christ. That knowledge makes all the difference in being able to carry on with our lives. We look forward to being with them again forever.

Our family wants to extend our sincere gratitude to all of those who have supported us through this trying time. Our church families, scouting family, and Air Force and academy families, as well as our family members, friends and community have truly rallied around us with love. Thank you to all those who have sent cards and flowers, called, provided meals and prayed and surrounded us with love. Your support has made a difference in our lives!

Love and concern started immediately after the accident with caring support from first responders, chaplains, Colorado Springs airport staff and Peterson Field personnel. From that moment on, caring people have reached out to us from around the world. Thank you so much! Nicole and Anthony would be as touched as we are. We look forward to the miracles God provides and receiving love and support as we continue to grieve.

  • Jenny

    Such a wonderful, Godly couple! They will truly be missed! All our prayers and love for the Paterson and Riggan families!

  • Gary, Christina, & Hannah

    A Godly couple that was admired by everyone they came in contact with…they will be missed. To the Paterson and Riggan families: our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. All our love…

  • I was just rereading Nicole’s last devotional in which she states, “Right now, I am in anticipation. Each day that passes, the anticipation grows. But, it isn’t for the holidays. It is the anticipation of finally being home. Not my earthly home. My heavenly home. Because when I reach my heavenly home, I will behold the glory of the Lord.”
    The Lord was waiting with open arms for Nicole and when she got there, He told her, well done my good and faithful servant. Nicole was wise beyond her years in her walk with the Lord. She is sitting at His feet with a crown full of jewels.
    She will be extremely missed and leaves a huge hole with everyone who knew her, especially her family. What an awesome daughter her parents raised.
    To the Paterson and Riggan family, I will continue to pray that the Lord will continue to carry you through this time of grief.

  • Bob and Cathie Eaton

    Philippians 2:1-4
    “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ”…Nicole was an expert in sharing encouraging words.
    “if any comfort from His love”….Nicole faced every situation–good or bad—knowing God was in control, therefore she rested in Christ’s love.
    “if any fellowship with the Spirit”….Nicole’s devotions were evidence she relied on the Holy Spirit to guide her
    “if any tenderness and compassion”….Nicole went out of her way to bless her husband and her friends and family
    “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose”…Paul was speaking of his joy, but Nicole gave God joy as well as she strove to be like-minded with her love, Anthony, and fellow Christians, and purposed her life after Christ.

    Nicole I will miss reading your devotions and blog, hearing of adventures with Lizzie, being uplifted by your laugh, and seeing the gleam in your parents’ eyes when they talk of your accomplishments. I will miss you here on earth, but look forward to eternity with you! Thank you for the impact you have made on my life. love to you, cathie

  • Steve and Connie Anderson

    Praise be to our God for the incredible lives of Anthony and Nicole.
    The Riggans and the Patersons reared such amazing children. What a rich reward to see your children walk with their Lord, step by step, day by day! The tribute to them in the memorial service/celebration of their lives blessed us greatly. We especially loved hearing excerpts from their respective devotional blogs. Oh, that we all would, every day, consider as Anthony and Nicole did, what me might do that day to glorify our God.
    Our prayers continue for Tony, Mary Jane, and Maggie Riggan
    & for John, Suzanne, Danielle, and Gabe Paterson. May our God grant you peace.

    Steve and Connie

  • bill & charity betts

    John, we feel we know and love your daughter, because we know and love you…may we each live so those who know us will want to know God because of us…your family is in our prayers. what a beautiful couple, we were encouraged by your families’ faith and the lovely service in the Springs.

  • Steve Riggan

    I actually only found this tragic information while browsing the internet tonight, March 8, 2011, after a class I teach in Spokane, WA only to realize that Anthony Riggan was my distant cousin. His great grandfather Elton Riggan and my grandfather Roy Riggan of Brewster, WA, formerly of Ivy, Arkansas, were cousins. I knew Anthony’s great grandmother Helen Reid Riggan of Brush Creek and I know his grandparents Norman and Donna Riggan. My condolences to the family and know that you are in our prayers even as Anthony and Nicole are with the Lord. God Bless!!

  • Holly

    I just wanted to thank Nicole’s parents for keeping this up for her. I know I think about her still daily – weekly I look at old cards and notes that she wrote me in highschool, and look at pictures that I still have of us during various drama club events….and today I thought I’d search the internet once again to read those news stories that I haven’t been able to read since December….(I knew her birthday was coming up and couldn’t remember the day!), and I found this site! So thank you, from all of us who will always have a spot in our hears for Nicole, for allowing us this little memorial. I know many of us don’t want to say it, don’t want to feel like we’re ‘in the spotlight’, but we’re grateful for this. I have always loved Nicole, greatly regret losing touch with her, but know that her joy and happiness for life lives on.

  • Kristina Singh

    I am in tears right now ;( They both touched so many hearts all around the world. Such God fearing, faithful and loving children of God. Thank you God for using Anthony in Trinidad. Love Kristina.

  • Anthony and Nicole,
    Can’t believe a year has gone without seeing your smiling faces, hearing your infectious laughs, reading your blogs, enjoying your adventures as you travel with the AF. We miss you more than we can express. Praying for your families as they continue to work through their grief. This world is not the same without you, but we know Heaven is SO blessed! Love to you both.

  • Gary and Christina Jones

    As one year passes us by, continue to know that Nicole and Anthony’s shining examples bless us, even now. I strive to be a beacon of light as Nicole was.

  • Today as we mourn the loss of another dear friend, I think of Nicole, I did not know her husband, but any man that could charm her must have been a great person. I miss your laugh Nicole, and your toothy smile. I hope you rest well in heaven, and will see you there.

  • Lindsey Kirchhoff

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Paterson,
    I remember Anthony fondly from our Academy days and wish so much that I could have known Nicole as well….what amazing people! They are an inspiration….thank you for creating such a beautiful memorial to them through this site. It’s so comforting to see the pictures and cherish their love for each other and their love for the world around them. I would like to send you a note via postal service. What address should I use?
    Blessings to you and thank you for remembering these two angels.
    Fondly, Lindsey Kirchhoff

  • Dave

    Please forgive my intrusion if deemed inappropriate. I came across this site while searching on Google for inspiration for a letter to write to my parents before my wedding in England next month.

    Nicole’s letters to her Mum and Dad brought tears to my eyes and soon afterwards I was genuinely then shocked to read that she and Anthony had later died. They sound like really good people and I guess I just wanted to say that years on now and unusually because I never knew them, I’m sorry for you loss.

    Dave, Southampton, UK

  • Patrick Callan

    Missing a dear friend.

  • I stumbled across this site while looking for inspiration on how to fully express my love and gratitude to my mother on my wedding day. Nicole’s letter is so beautiful and moving I almost felt as if she was saying exactly the words I was looking for. I did not even realize at first that this was a memorial page. My heart definitely sunk and my mouth gaped open when I realized the woman who spoke with such love and great fullness of her mother, her husband and life had unfortunately been taken from this life. Being married about two weeks now and feeling the same as her, that it was the best day of my life, it made me both happy and sad in the same moment. Sad that soon after just starting her life with Anthony and creating a family with him it was cut short, but also happy that she had the chance to experience that love and happiness however short it may have been. This page is beautiful and I cannot imagine the pain this has caused your family. I thank you for sharing it and reminding me how fragile life can be. Now more than ever I will cherish every moment with those I love. I will also never forget Nicole and Anthony. Though I never met them or you each night when I kiss my husband goodnight I will cherish the fact that I have that luxury. I will call my parents when I get home from work, even if it’s late, just to say hi and I love you. And when my husband annoys me or gets on my nerves (which is inevitable) I will not stew in anger but think of Nicole and Anthony and be grateful that we still have time on this earth together. Thank you.


Memorial Scholarships

In lieu of sending flowers,
please consider a donation to:

The Anthony and Nicole Riggan Memorial Mission Scholarship
c/o BSU Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1832, Monument, CO 80132


Nicole Riggan Memorial Theater Scholarship
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
Monument, CO 80132

A Legacy of Love

Sophie Anne, 4/4/10—12/22/10

"On June 11, 2010 we brought home a new addition to our family: a brand new golden retriever puppy."

Meet Sophie