Doris Wiggins, 94yrs, of Columbia, Missouri died on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at Lenoir Health Care.
Graveside Services will be held at 1 pm, Monday, January 28, 2013 at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Her health had been declining after her husband, Ed, died in May of 2012.
Doris was born to David & Lena Denham of Columbia on December 11, 1918. She was the youngest of three daughters; Francis Steele was the oldest followed by Meribah Oliver. The three maintained a very close relationship throughout their lives.
Doris was educated in the Columbia Public Schools and graduated from Hickman High School in 1937. She attended a Business School to help sharpen her secretarial skills; and, in 1941, was hired by the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Missouri. She served faithfully in various secretarial positions throughout her career with the University, including secretary to the Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture. Doris was honored upon her retirement from the University in 1985 with a large celebration thanking her for 44 years of distinguished service to the University.
In 1941 Doris married the love of her life, J. B. Thomas. J.B. and Doris always held hands and she would profess that he treated her like a queen. They remained inseparable and happily married until his death on December 15, 1976. After J.B.’s death her sister, Francis, urged Doris to get out and socialize. She eventually met J.B. Mahan(widowed) and they were married on January 24, 1988 at the home of Rev. Homer Lay in a private ceremony. She enjoyed living out in the country and getting to know & become friends with J. B.’s son & family, Joe & Wanda Mahan and their children. When Mr. Mahan died on Feb. 10, 1996 Doris moved back into Columbia from the country where she continued to attend the Extension Dinners for retirees. It was at one of these dinners that she became re-acquainted with Ed Wiggins(widowed), a retired Professor of Agricultural Economics Extension who had served as an agent of the Extension. Ed and Doris were married in a private ceremony at the Broadway Christian Church on June 24, 2000 where Ed was a Charter member and Doris became a member, also. They enjoyed family & friends, dining out and gatherings at special events including Christmas. They remained active, until their health began to decline a few years ago. At that time, Ed moved to Lenoir Health Care and Doris followed about 6 months later. Doris was pleased to have had the opportunity to get to know Ed’s two sons, Kip and his wife, Mary Beth and their children and Rex and his wife, Diane and their family. Ed’s family continued to phone and visit Doris after Ed’s death on May24, 2012.
Throughout her life, Doris loved to dance and during the 50’s & 60’s, you could find her and her husband in the Ballroom of the Tiger Hotel dancing with a large crowd belonging to the Saturday Nighters & swinging to Big Band music!Cooking was something else that Doris loved to do and many relatives and friends got to enjoy her large spread of food on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Often she and her sisters and their aunt Jamilee (who was like a sister) joined together to cook in the same kitchen…it was a delight to watch as they moved about without ever bumping into one another or spilling anything on their beautiful attire (those small aprons were for decoration only) like well-choreographed dancers. The men in the family were not allowed in the kitchen when the ladies were at work. The sisters were also artists in making candy for Xmas…divinity & peanut brittle! Each one had a specific duty and when the boiling peanut brittle was poured by one onto a large pan the other three began pulling it…OUCH!.. laying the thin pieces out on wax paper…Doris LOVED it and they all had fun. She loved flowers, especially those received from her church and from her husband, family and friends. Doris loved to keep up on current events and read the paper daily as well as magazines. She loved the 4-H clubs and delighted in supporting them with her donations; after all, 4-H was part of the EXTENSION SERVICE.
For Doris, one of the most difficult things to give up was driving her car which she had to do about two and a half years ago. For her, it signaled a loss of independence. Doris and Ed truly appreciated the caring atmosphere and the excellent care they received from the staff at Lenoir Health Care during the last years of their lives. We shall miss her warm smile, sparkling eyes and kind heart.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, both sisters and an aunt.
She is survived by two cousins; Howard R. Jones of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and his family, and David Jones of Columbia; one nephew, Gayle Lampson of Houston, Texas and her best friend and former colleague, Pam Seibert and her family.