By The Associated Press Writer The Pepperidge Farms in Illinois and the other farms in the southern Illinois county where the farm has been located for more than a century are mourning the loss of a former employee.
Meredith Riggs was a cook who came to the farm as a child.
She started cooking at the farm in 1874, when the family had just moved there from California.
In the late 1920s, she became a full-time assistant at the ranch.
She retired in 1988 and was buried at Pepperville Memorial Park.
She was known as one of the best cooks in the world, according to a website for her daughter, Amy Riggs.
“Meredith was a wonderful person,” Amy Riggles said.
“She was so kind.
She was always smiling.
She loved everybody.
She would smile, you know, for hours on end, even if it was because she was sick or because she wanted to eat.”
Amy Riggs said Meredith was so generous.
The day she passed away, Amy said, “she took her mother’s ashes to the cemetery, and we were just devastated.”
Amy said she and her mother had known Meredith for many years.
“We had been friends all of our lives,” Amy said.
“I knew that if I wanted to have something in my life, she would be the person to get me there.”
Meredith’s death was announced Saturday by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which said she had died from natural causes.
She worked at Pepperfield Farms from 1879 to 1918.
Murdoch County officials said she was buried with her husband, John Riggs, and two daughters, Jennifer and Amanda.
Amy Riggens said that after Meredith’s death, she thought about how she would have wanted to see more of her parents and her grandfather.
“It was a real heartbreaker, just seeing her friends and family, especially the people who have known her for so long,” she said.
Moody’s spokeswoman, Katie Brown, said that Meredith was remembered as a “very kind, caring and kind woman who was just one of those people who was there for people, even when they weren’t the way they wanted to be.”
Moodys spokesman, Mark Friesen, said the company was deeply saddened by the loss.
“Meredith has been a part of the family for many, many years,” he said.
Amy said Meredith’s family wanted her to remember her mother.
“They would say, ‘She was always happy to see us, to give us a hug and she would say something, ‘Mom, you can go out there, you’ll have a good time.'”
Amy said that at the time of her mother and her grandmother’s passing, she was looking forward to a trip to Pepperidge.
“The idea of going to the site and seeing the farm, it was just something that she would love to do,” she told The Associated