OBITUARY

William ""Bill" Franklin Wiggins Sr.

April 11, 1927May 18, 2020
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William (Bill) Franklin Wiggins, Sr.

Bill was born in Deepstep, Georgia on April 11, 1927 to William Watkins Wiggins and Nina Jewel (Wright) Wiggins. He was the third of four children and the only son. Growing up, he developed a strong work ethic while living on his family’s farm during the Great Depression. In addition to working on the farm, Bill supplemented the family income by working at Piggly Wiggly and the Sandersville Post Office, coming from a long line of mail carriers. At the age of 17, he joined the Army, attended North Carolina State University for a year, and was then deployed to Japan at the close of World War II. Bill was appointed to West Point, but his color blindness prevented him from attending.

When Bill returned to Sandersville, Georgia, he resumed work with the United States Postal Service and thus began his long and dedicated career as a Postal Inspector. It was in Sandersville, Ga. where he met Martha India Lang. They married on June 13, 1949. After 4 years and the birth of their first two children, Bill was transferred to Beckley, West Virginia and they left Georgia behind. Their third child was born there. From Beckley, the family moved to Bristol, Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia, Catonsville, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia. He worked and traveled tirelessly on cases involving theft and fraud, and each move involved a promotion in his successful career. Additionally, Bill was a firearms instructor at the National Postal Inspectors Institute. He maintained close contact with his colleagues and was held in very high regard. While he was working in Washington, D.C. and living in Fairfax, Bill’s wife, Martha, began a relentless battle with cancer. In order to provide her with consistent medical treatment and care, Bill chose to bypass promotions and remain in Fairfax until after her death (d. 29 June, 1971). Bill’s final transfer took him to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he continued his avid pursuit of criminals. Some may have called him a work-a-holic, but after he retired at the age of 50, he said he was so busy in retirement that he didn’t know how he had ever had time to work. When Bill retired in 1977, he left Chattanooga and settled on Signal Mountain, Tn. in the quiet neighborhood of Boston Branch. He liked the seclusion, the close knit community, and the beautiful outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, square dancing, playing bridge with “the Grumpys”, traveling and volunteering. He hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, earned a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and traveled to Virginia regularly to visit his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Some of his most meaningful post retirement experiences were through his volunteer work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. On 11 May, 1989 Bill married Maxine Winters and she was a faithful companion through all of his adventures. They traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and so many other places. They were regular volunteers at US Wildlife Refuge in southeast Texas, and Bicentennial Volunteers Inc. volunteers at Fontana Dam in Fontana, North Carolina and Raccoon Mountain, Tennessee. They traveled together by RV to volunteer with the NOMADS, a ministry with the United Methodist Church. Other RV adventures included trips to Alaska, Nova Scotia and other parts of the US. When Bill navigated the Boundary Waters in Minnesota in a canoe at 78, Maxine was his support team. He biked the Natchez Trace when he was 85, and she was there cheering him on. They square danced, were HAM radio enthusiasts, and even volunteered at the summer Olympics when they were held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. What his grandchildren and great grandchildren may remember most about Bill was their time spent at “Camp Hokey Dokey”, his home on Signal Mountain. They called him Hokey Dokey because he often said, “Okey Dokey, Let’s get going.” Memories include swimming, fishing, canoeing, family reunions, sleeping on the screen porch with cousins, Dominos, Rummikub, being pulled around the lake in a handcart, EXIT INTERVIEWS, trips to the Aquarium, tie dyed tee shirts, postcards from faraway places, and knowing that he “couldn’t hear” while he was reading the newspaper. He loved crossword puzzles, jumbles, and the Sunday “funnies”. He was an early adopter of e-mail, using packet mail through the HAM Radio network, and later having AOL and Facebook to keep in touch with his family, and was known for his many generous birthday gifts and cards. He had endless pearls of wisdom like “the highway is the most dangerous place on the planet so be careful out there” or “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” And “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see”. Needless to say, Bill Wiggins’ tireless work ethic, desire to serve others, and ability to conquer any goal set in front of him was a great example to those who knew him. He lived by the words, “Live Simply That Others May Simply Live”. Bill will be deeply missed by his family and his many loving and supportive friends. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Maxine Winters Wiggins; son, William Franklin Wiggins, Jr. of North Fort Myers, FL (Pauline); daughter, LaVerte Wiggins Dowd, (Tim), Franklin, VA; daughter Nina Wiggins Fazio, (Rick), Ringgold, GA; daughter Ginger Carpenter (Cheri) Chattanooga, TN; nephew Richard Blethen (Carolyn), nieces Beverly Perry (Leon) and Eloise Adams, (Ronnie) Sandersville, GA. He leaves 9 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Martha India Lang Wiggins, his sisters, Eleanor Wiggins, Lucille Carter and Eloise Williams. Due to the current Corona 19 virus restrictions the family will hold a private memorial service. The livestreamed service may be viewed 5/21/20 at 12:30 pm, at https://www.facebook.com/chattanooganorthchapel/

Funeral arrangements are being made by Chattanooga Funeral Home North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, TN 37343. He will be interred in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Signal Mountain United Methodist Church Missions Fund, P O Box 147, Signal Mountain TN 37377 or Hospice of Chattanooga, 4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga TN 37416

Please feel welcome to share comments and memories at: williamfwiggins.wordpress.com

  • FAMILY

  • Maxine Winters Wiggins, wife of 31 years
  • William Franklin Wiggins, Jr. (Pauline), Son
  • LaVerte Wiggins Dowd (Tim), Daughter
  • Nina Wiggins Fazio (Rick), Daughter
  • Ginger Carpenter (Cheri), Daughter
  • Richard Blethen (Carolyn), Nephew
  • Beverly Perry (Leon), Niece
  • Eloise Adams (Ronnie), Niece
  • He leaves 9 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.

Learn more about the Wiggins name

  • DONATIONS

  • Signal Mountain United Methodist Church Missions Fund
  • Hospice of Chattanooga

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

William ""Bill" Franklin Wiggins Sr.

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Brenda Shelton

May 21, 2020

Maxine,

Sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. I know that Ted had great respect for Bill. I didn’t realize that Ted and Bill shared the April 11 birthday. You and your family will be in my prayers.


Brenda Shelton


John Stuart

May 19, 2020

Bill was one of the first postal inspectors I met when I joined the Postal Inspection Service in 1967. It was in Washington DC where he was domiciled. At that time he and his close friend and parner, Dick Carroll, were an elite, highly respected, team working service depredation throughout the Washington Division. I was privileged to work with them on several occasions.

Later I transferred to the Chattanooga Division and Bill followed after being promoted to Assistant Inspector in Charge.
Bill's favorite saying was "even a blind hog gets an acorn every now and then". That's what I heard every time I called in an arrest.

In my 23 year career, I never met a finer inspector, boss, or man. Bill was easy-going, fun to work and travel with, and a good friend. He was a church-goer and worked as a volunteer for "Homes for Humanity".

Bill was an inspiration and role model for me. I always had the highest regards for him. My prayers go out to Maxine, his family, and friends. RIP Bill. You lived a good life.

Ginger Carpenter

May 19, 2020

To My Dear Ol Dad,
Thanks for adopting me when you didn’t have to but you wanted to improve my life. I am so amazed at the amount of wisdom that you gave me, and how I didn’t believe it at that time. Now I do believe and I share it every time I get a chance.I am grateful for getting to know you all over again in the past year and blessed to know Maxine as the strong lady she is. We will miss you but each life you touched is richer for the opportunity.
Love to all my Wiggins family and to his great friends in his neighborhood. Ginger

Debby Hearn

May 19, 2020

Bill was such a wonderful encourager and friend. Each Sunday he would make each person he greeted feel special in some unique way. His smile and gentle manner exhibited the hallmark of a true Christian and I will always be grateful for the friendship of Bill and Maxine. I know that he will be singing in heaven. He was a lover of music and people and knew how to bring joy to others. I will miss him and his special brand of uplifting love and I praise God for Bill's Easter morning in heaven.

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Biography

William (Bill) Franklin Wiggins, Sr.


Bill was born in Deepstep, Georgia on April 11, 1927 to William Watkins Wiggins and Nina Jewel (Wright) Wiggins. He was the third of four children and the only son. Growing up, he developed a strong work ethic while living on his family’s farm during the Great Depression. In addition to working on the farm, Bill supplemented the family income by working at Piggly Wiggly and the Sandersville Post Office, coming from a long line of mail carriers.

At the age of 17, he joined the Army, attended North Carolina State University for a year, and was then deployed to Japan at the close of World War II. Bill was appointed to West Point, but his color blindness prevented him from attending.

When Bill returned to Sandersville, Georgia, he resumed work with the United States Postal Service and thus began his long and dedicated career as a Postal Inspector. It was in Sandersville, Ga. where he met Martha India Lang. They married on June 13, 1949.

After 4 years and the birth of their first two children, Bill was transferred to Beckley, West Virginia and they left Georgia behind. Their third child was born there. From Beckley, the family moved to Bristol, Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia, Catonsville, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia. He worked and traveled tirelessly on cases involving theft and fraud, and each move involved a promotion in his successful career. Additionally, Bill was a firearms instructor at the National Postal Inspectors Institute. He maintained close contact with his colleagues and was held in very high regard.

While he was working in Washington, D.C. and living in Fairfax, Bill’s wife, Martha, began a relentless battle with cancer. In order to provide her with consistent medical treatment and care, Bill chose to bypass promotions and remain in Fairfax until after her death (d. 29 June, 1971). Bill’s final transfer took him to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he continued his avid pursuit of criminals. Some may have called him a work-a-holic, but after he retired at the age of 50, he said he was so busy in retirement that he didn’t know how he had ever had time to work.

When Bill retired in 1977, he left Chattanooga and settled on Signal Mountain, Tn. in the quiet neighborhood of Boston Branch. He liked the seclusion, the close knit community, and the beautiful outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, square dancing, playing bridge with “the Grumpys”, traveling and volunteering. He hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, earned a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and traveled to Virginia regularly to visit his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Some of his most meaningful post retirement experiences were through his volunteer work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

On 11 May, 1989 Bill married Maxine Winters and she was a faithful companion through all of his adventures. They traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and so many other places. They were regular volunteers at US Wildlife Refuge in southeast Texas, and Bicentennial Volunteers Inc. volunteers at Fontana Dam in Fontana, North Carolina and Raccoon Mountain, Tennessee. They traveled together by RV to volunteer with the NOMADS, a ministry with the United Methodist Church. Other RV adventures included trips to Alaska, Nova Scotia and other parts of the US. When Bill navigated the Boundary Waters in Minnesota in a canoe at 78, Maxine was his support team. He biked the Natchez Trace when he was 85, and she was there cheering him on. They square danced, were HAM radio enthusiasts, and even volunteered at the summer Olympics when they were held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996.

What his grandchildren and great grandchildren may remember most about Bill was their time spent at “Camp Hokey Dokey”, his home on Signal Mountain. They called him Hokey Dokey because he often said, “Okey Dokey, Let’s get going.” Memories include swimming, fishing, canoeing, family reunions, sleeping on the screen porch with cousins, Dominos, Rummikub, being pulled around the lake in a handcart, EXIT INTERVIEWS, trips to the Aquarium, tie dyed tee shirts, postcards from faraway places, and knowing that he “couldn’t hear” while he was reading the newspaper. He loved crossword puzzles, jumbles, and the Sunday “funnies”. He was an early adopter of e-mail, using packet mail through the HAM Radio network, and later having AOL and Facebook to keep in touch with his family, and was known for his many generous birthday gifts and cards. He had endless pearls of wisdom like “the highway is the most dangerous place on the planet so be careful out there” or “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” And “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see”.

Needless to say, Bill Wiggins’ tireless work ethic, desire to serve others, and ability to conquer any goal set in front of him was a great example to those who knew him. He lived by the words, “Live Simply That Others May Simply Live”. Bill will be deeply missed by his family and his many loving and supportive friends.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Maxine Winters Wiggins; son, William Franklin Wiggins, Jr. of North Fort Myers, FL (Pauline); daughter, LaVerte Wiggins Dowd, (Tim), Franklin, VA; daughter Nina Wiggins Fazio, (Rick), Ringgold, GA; daughter Ginger Carpenter (Cheri) Chattanooga, TN; nephew Richard Blethen (Carolyn), nieces Beverly Perry (Leon) and Eloise Adams, (Ronnie) Sandersville, GA. He leaves 9 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Martha India Lang Wiggins, his sisters, Eleanor Wiggins, Lucille Carter and Eloise Williams.

Due to the current Corona 19 virus restrictions the family will hold a private memorial service. The livestreamed service may be viewed 5/21/20 at 12:30 pm, at https://www.facebook.com/chattanooganorthchapel/

Funeral arrangements are being made by Chattanooga Funeral Home North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, TN 37343. He will be interred in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Signal Mountain United Methodist Church Missions Fund, P O Box 147, Signal Mountain TN 37377 or Hospice of Chattanooga, 4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga TN 37416

Please feel welcome to share comments and memories at: williamfwiggins.wordpress.com

Learn more about the Wiggins name

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