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ND science professor dies at 64

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, November 8, 2011

J. Keith Rigby, Jr., associate professor of civil engineering and geological sciences, died Saturday at his South Bend home. He was 64.

Rigby, a paleontologist, joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 1982 and taught courses in physical geology, historical geology, environmental geology, sedimentation and stratigraphy, according to a University press release.

During his time as a professor, Rigby won the Teacher of the Year award from Sorin Hall as well as the College of Engineering. He also won the Distinguished Scholar award from the College of Science.

Rigby also had numerous accomplishments in the field of paleontology. Most notably, in 1997, Rigby led a team of volunteers on a paleontological expedition in northeast Montana and the group unearthed a massive fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus widely regarded as the largest such specimen ever found.

The Salt Lake City native was a graduate of Brigham Young University and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in geology from Columbia University.

He is survived by his wife, Susan, and six children.

Visitation will be held Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home in South Bend, and one hour prior to the funeral service, which will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mishawaka.