July 28, 1948
December 2, 2006

––––– •–––––SALLY JANE RIGGS INSALACO, of North Little Rock, age 58, passed away on Saturday, Dec.2, 2006, from renal cell cancer at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock. Sally was born in North Little Rock on July 28, 1948.

Coming from a family of talented musicians and artists, Sally enjoyed an illustrious professional career. While a senior at North Little Rock High School, she was one of four student directors chosen to compose and direct the all-school musical called the Wild Cat Follies. As a result of this, she was selected for the BFA program at the Arkansas Arts Center, which overlapped her senior year of high school. She was an original member of the Arkansas Ballet Company under the direction of Manolo Agullo. In 1966, at the age of 18, she was accepted into the company of the Dallas State Fair Musicals and performed in many productions including Sweet Charity and Annie Get Your Gun. Sally then went to New York and was hired for the David Merrick Production of Hello Dolly starring Dorothy Lamour National Touring Company and continued to work with internationally renowned producers David Merrick and Joseph Papp. Arkansas welcomed Sally home when the Hello Dolly production appeared at Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock with a Hello Sally Day. She was proclaimed an Arkansas Traveler and given the key to the city of Little Rock as well as a Sally Riggs Day proclamation in North Little Rock. Following this, Sally performed on Broadway in the production of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s Celebration. She was a member of the prestigious British Actor’s Equity and while in London she co-starred on British Television, including The Roger Whittaker Show and Till Death Us Do Part. Following this, Sally was Ballet Mistress and cast member in the original Robert Stigwood production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar at the Palace Theater in London. Later she was selected for the Jesus Christ Superstar Touring Choir which performed for European Royalty including Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1974 Sally returned to North Little Rock and opened Studio One for the Performing Arts which became one of the premier dance studios in Arkansas for many years. Sally touched and influenced literally thousands of young dance students. Her students were featured at the 1984 Worlds Fair, Riverfest, Arkansas State Capitol, New York Venues and many other events. In 1986 she choreographed the Arkansas Sesquicentennial at War Memorial Stadium. Her last professional performance was in the leading role of the musical Chicago at the Arkansas Repertory Theater. She choreographed the Arkansas Gridiron for many years and was selected as an original member of Arkansas Women of Style.

Upon her retirement from dance, a Sally Riggs Insalaco Day was again proclaimed in North Little Rock for her many contributions to her community. She served on the Board of many organizations including the Historic Arkansas Museum and president of the Arkansas Dance Network. Sally was also an accomplished pianist and performed in many parts of the world as well.

For the past 30 years, Sally cherished her participation in the First United Methodist Church. She was a member of the choir, the hand bell choir and chair of the finance and worship committees.

In 1984 Sally and husband Vincent formed the Family Entertainment Superstore Company, which grew to 50 stores in 3 states before being sold in 2002. Most recently Sally and husband Vincent formed Downstream People Productions, which just finished filming the movie War Eagle in Northwest Arkansas.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Novelle Riggs, and favorite aunt, Mildred Davis. Sally is survived by her husband of 32 years, Vincent; daughter, Elizabeth; son, Vincent III and wife Misty; granddaughter, Mary Angelina; and soon to be born granddaughter, Isabella Rose. Sally also is survived by brother, Lt. Colonel Gene Riggs, Jr. and wife, Jane, of Bossier City, La., sister, Julia Maglothin and husband Lt. Colonel Raymond Maglothin of Birmingham, Ala.; and brother, Jack Riggs and wife Janell of North Little Rock; nephews, Gene Riggs and wife Sarah of Lincoln, Neb., Mark Maglothin and wife Karen, of Tulsa, Okla., Rick Gregory and wife Laura of Bogota, Tenn.; nieces, Dana Todd and husband David of Shreveport, La., Robin Ferguson and husband Mike of Birmingham, Ala., Terry Maglothin of Ozark, Ala., Mollie Riggs of Memphis; and cousin Barbara Pitts and husband Jim of Sherwood.

The Insalaco family would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Dr. Brad Baltz, of Little Rock, and nurse Jan Black, the Oncology Ward Staff at the Baptist Medical Center, Drs. Haley Shaw and Ron Kuhn of North Little Rock, Dr. Robert Figlin and Research Director Nancy Maldower and the Kidney Cancer Oncology Clinic at UCLA and the UCLA Medical Tiverton House.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, from 6 - 8 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, 6701 JFK Blvd., in North Little Rock, Ark. (501) 835-2201. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006, at 11 a.m., at the same location. Officiating will be The Reverend Mary Hoey, assisted by the Reverend Steven Copley and Dr. Ben Jordan. Arrangements made by Roller Owens Funeral Home of North Little Rock (501) 791-7400. Interment will follow at Griffin-Leggett Rest Hills Cemetery, on Hwy 67/167. The family will receive visitors at home following the interment.

Memorials may be made to the Sally Riggs Insalaco Performing Arts Scholarship Fund in care of the Arkansas Community Foundation 700 S. Rock, Little Rock, Ark., 72202.

  The North Little Rock Times - May 10, 2007
Reprinted with permission


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