AVONDALE, AZ—Seeing him this weekend for the first time since the holidays, the family of local widower Gene Riggs spoke glowingly of the 87-year-old, hailing him as alert and aware of what was going on around him. “It was fantastic. He really seemed with-it, like he was following the conversation,” Riggs’ granddaughter Michelle Traeger said of the elderly man, who received great acclaim for the level of lucidity he displayed both during and after dinner, when relatives sat him down to watch the end of the Diamondbacks game. “And anytime we said something to him, he perked up and seemed to know exactly who we were and what we were talking about. Such a treat to see Grandpa Gene so responsive.” Laudatory family members went on to lavishly praise the octogenarian’s ability to “just keep going on” after so many years.
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