Major Jean Rigney
After 37 years of service, Major Jean Rigney has retired as an active officer of The Salvation Army.
Jean was raised on a farm in New Mexico. Active in their church, her parents gave her a strong spiritual foundation.
After high school, Jean attended college, intending to become a nurse. After realizing this was not God’s plan for her, she attended business college to learn secretarial skills. She received a diploma and briefly worked as an instructor at a business college in Tucson.
Returning home in 1962, she met The Salvation Army, and Major Carl Irby hired her as “girl Friday” at the El Paso, Texas corps. Jean liked the Army, especially appreciating its work with the less fortunate. Corps finances were slim and when new officers were assigned Jean left for work elsewhere. In 1964, though, the Las Vegas Corps contacted Jean, offering her employment. She moved there and worked for the Army until 1965.
By the next year, Jean felt called to officership. She joined the Army in 1966 at the Las Vegas Corps and soon entered training school in San Francisco. She was commissioned in 1968 with the Messengers of the Faith Session. She served for a year at the school and in 1969 was appointed chaplain for the San Francisco City Correctional Services, where she ministered for four years.
After receiving a call to missionary service, Jean was appointed to Korea as the territorial commander’s private secretary. She served there for 17 years, from 1973 through 1989, and might have retired there, but returned to the U.S. to be near her aging parents.
Major Rigney served at territorial headquarters in several appointments, each involving a ministry to people. Her last assignment was to the Family Emergency Shelter in El Paso, where she has commuted each day from the family farm where she grew up.
A retirement service was held at the Torrance Corps, with Commissioner Bill Luttrell officiating.
In retirement, Major Rigney will be living at her farm: 14255 South Hwy 28, La Mesa, NM 88044.
Major Shirley Breukelman
Major Shirley Breukelman recently retired from active duty as a Salvation Army officer after 29 years of service.
Shirley first entered a Salvation Army corps when she was just five days old—her family attended the corps in North Platte, Nebraska, and Shirley participated in all the corps programs. She dedicated her life to God in February 1965.
While attending business school in Denver, Shirley met Harm Breukelman; the two wed in June 1974. During this time Shirley felt called to be a Salvation Army officer. Shortly after their marriage, the Breukelmans moved to Bozeman, Montana to lay the groundwork for opening a corps there. Later they were sent to Laramie, Wyoming as corps officers, and then for a short time they worked at Intermountain Divisional Headquarters.
They entered officer training school in January 1979 and were commissioned in 1980 with the Proclaimers of Salvation Session. Corps appointments followed in Grand Junction and Ogden, Utah; Colorado Springs; and Butte, Montana. In Butte, Harm became terminally ill and was promoted to Glory in 1991. During those difficult days, Shirley held fast to her faith in God.
After Harm’s death, Shirley continued in Butte for another two and a half years, for a total of ten years there. In 1993, in recognition of her service there, she received the Frontiersman of the Year award.
After Butte, Shirley was assigned to assist in Salt Lake City. Thereafter she was sent to Laramie, then to the Santa Cruz, California Silvercrest as chaplain, and finally to the Santa Cruz Corps as assistant.
After serving God and The Salvation Army faithfully for many years, Major Breukelman is retiring early for health reasons, but she trusts that God still has plenty for her to do.
Lt. Colonel Della Rees conducted the retirement service.
Major Breukelman’s retirement address is: 750 Bay Avenue, Apt. 413, Capitola, CA 95010.