David Rigsby, former DeLand Mayor, manager for Stetson University grounds, dies.

David C. Rigsby, former DeLand mayor and manager for Stetson University grounds and senior assistant for special projects, died Saturday at age 69.


Rigsby, a pillar in the DeLand community, oversaw several projects that shaped the area into what it is today. He helped to improve the Chisholm Community Center, the Downtown DeLand streetscape and even the DeLand Municipal Complex, which now bears his name.


"He was an excellent leader for our community," said DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar Monday. "The community has suffered a big loss. He served his city and his citizens with honor and distinction."


Rigsby, who was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, received his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture with special studies in urban design from the University of Florida, according to a release from the City of DeLand.


He was was hired in 1974 as the City of DeLand’s superintendent of parks and urban beautification, before working for Stetson in 1978, where he spent 42 years. The grounds at Stetson won numerous awards under his leadership, according to the city’s release. He retired from the university in January.


While working at Stetson, Rigsby served on the DeLand City Commission from 1980 to 1993 and as mayor from 1993 to 2001. He also served as president of the League of Cities, during which time he received the E. Drew Harris Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor.


Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, PhD, said Rigsby will be sorely missed.


"He was a remarkably creative, talented, and civic-minded man," she said in the release. "I was so thankful that he and his team had an opportunity to put into action Dave’s vision for the transformation of the Stetson University campus. No doubt, he deserves the lion’s share of any praise for the stunning beauty of our campus."


In honor of Rigsby, the City of DeLand will lower the city flag to half-staff and place a wreath on the David C. Rigsby Municipal Complex sign.


"I considered Dave a mentor," Apgar told The News-Journal. "I learned a lot from him about being reasoned and reasonable at the same, about how to be true to your principles but also how important it is to be willing to compromise."


Rigsby leaves behind his wife Kate; his three children Jennifer, Josh and John David; and step-children Jessica, Will and Dorie.


Services have not been announced yet.