FRANKFORT — Everybody liked David Rigney, his sister Mary Lou Furgerson recalls.
Hard working, friendly and quick with a joke, the former milk delivery man earned the nickname “Hotshot” by folks around his hometown of Evarts and nearby Yocum Creek where he was a member of the fire department.
“He was comical,” said Furgerson — the kind of person you don’t soon forget.
So when Rigney passed away last January of heart trouble at age 64, his friends and family decided he deserved a permanent memorial. Calls were made, messages sent, and soon the matter had made it all the way to the Kentucky General Assembly where Rep. Rick Nelson and other state lawmakers worked quickly to pass legislation naming a bridge for the Harlan County favorite.
By mid-April, House Joint Resolution 5 naming the KY 215 bridge over Yocum Creek the “David ‘Hotshot’ Rigney Memorial Bridge” was signed into law.
Last week, Rigney’s family and friends along with various government officials gathered at the bridge for the unveiling of signs dedicating the bridge in Rigney’s name.
Furgerson said she is thankful to all those who had a part in making the bridge dedication a reality including the Yocum Creek Fire Department, Harlan County Magistrate Bill Moore, family friend Alan Ford, Rigney’s other family members — including Furgerson’s twin sister Dottie Sue Rigney and their brother Lee Earl Rigney — and so many others. She knows “Hotshot” would be appreciative, too, she said.
“He was a good person,” she said.