FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. – Hundreds gathered at Fluvanna County High School Saturday to remember and honor fallen U.S. Navy sailor Dakota Rigsby.
The Palmyra native was one of seven sailors killed on June 17 when their warship, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a merchant vessel off Japan’s Izu Peninsula.
The 19-year-old was a graduate of from Fluvanna County High School, where he also played football and severed as a volunteer for the Lake Monticello Fire Department.
Friends described Rigsby as an uplifting and positive guy, with a smile no one could forget.
“I think what they will say is he was very involved in community,” Delegate Rob Bell (R-Virginia 58th) told Newsplex. “He came up through his schools, he played on the sports team, and when he graduated, he saw that as his calling to be sworn in as a member of the United States Navy.”
First responders and firefighters from Fluvanna and from across the region attended the funeral.
After the funeral service, Rigsby was laid to rest in a private burial with family and active military personnel.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations in Dakota’s memory be made to the Fisher House Foundation or the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire and Rescue.