Gustavo "Gus" Rigoli Profile Photo
1929 Gustavo "gus" 2022

Gustavo "Gus" Rigoli

August 22, 1929 — August 21, 2022

Gustavo (“Gus”) Rigoli completed his life’s journey this week and is deeply missed by his family and friends. Gus was born to Amelia Rigoli (née Franco) and Julian Rigoli on August 22, 1929. He passed on August 21, 2022. A dual citizen of the United States as well as México, Gus was born in the mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, the second-oldest of five children.Gus once said to his family, “to truly live life, the most important asset we have is our time. Each of our journeys on this earth is too short. It is truly a travesty to not savor every step and moment of our journeys with a mindset that includes no limits, and with a heart capable of loving far beyond what we believe possible.Gus was raised by deeply loving, selfless and hard-working parents in a household that also included his maternal grandmother and three cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Lander (née Rigoli) and his brother, Ernest Rigoli. He is survived by his brother, Albert Rigoli; his sister, Gloria Ellison (née Rigoli); his son, Andre Rigoli; his daughters, Renee Serrano (née Rigoli), Gia Melia Rigoli, Lari Leonelli, Deni Bianco, and Paola Prestini; and numerous loving nephews, nieces, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.Gus attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and Woodbury Business College in California, graduating in November, 1956, with a Bachelor's degree in Advanced Accountancy. Upon graduating, Gus’ first job was with a California CPA firm in Southern California. In the early 1960s, Gus became a new business pioneer. He helped to create and launch a company, “American Building Center”, in Los Alamitos, California; a warehouse concept for home improvement products (a model we’re all familiar with today, but new and innovative at that time).In the late 1960s, Gus returned to Nogales in search of a new career. He began working with Coast Marketing, financiers and importers of produce grown in Culiacán, México. In 1968, Gus’ younger brother, Albert Rigoli, introduced Gus to Richard (“Dick”) Campbell who pioneered the Maquila Industry in Sonora, México. Gus joined Mr. Campbell as an accountant, later growing into a role as the general manager before purchasing the company from Mr. Campbell.Under Gus’ leadership and vision, the manufacturing and services Shelter program was refined and scaled and came to be known as Collectron International Management in Arizona, and Sonitronies, S. de R.L. de C.V. in México. Gus grew the business into a major force within the Maquila industry and–ultimately–transformed the border economies of Sonora and Arizona, as well as parts of Northern México and the Southwestern United States. The highly successful business grew to include hundreds of companies from across the globe, many of which are still operating in México.During his 40+ year tenure as CEO, Gus received many awards for his leadership as well as manufacturing and services excellence. This included the Sonora, México “Business Man of the Year”, awarded to Gus in 1998. It was–and remains–the only time the award was given to an American citizen.When receiving that award, Gus shared his beliefs that a business should operate for the benefit of humanity. His personal philosophy and legacy can be best summed up in his own words at that time: 1) “We are born to fulfill life. We must recognize that the most important element of life is TIME; and yet, so often, what we waste is our TIME”; 2) “We must recognize that our work reflects on our happiness and well-being”; 3) “We must remember that everything and everyone changes constantly. If we are to achieve our goals, change must happen”; 4) “Remember that, only yesterday, we dreamt about possibilities; today, we will make them happen!”Gus understood that the longest and most difficult journey we take in our lives is the one to find and understand ourselves. He once said, “We are all born with a guardian angel, but few of us remember to look for her. We are all born with a conscience, but few of us listen to it. We are all rich, but few of us recognize it.” He would say that his perspective came from his parents who–despite the hardships they experienced as a mining family in Bisbee–never failed to recognize the wealth of having family, friendships, and love.Our love is with you, Gus; you gave us all so much of your own. Thank you for being kind to us. Thank you for your trust, your generosity, and your irreverent humor. Thank you for being our friend. We’ll try to make the world a better place, as you did.In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Hilltop Gallery, Community Food Bank of Nogales and Crossroads in Nogales, AZ.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, August 25, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Pacific time)

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Mass Celebration

Thursday, August 25, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

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Burial

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

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