Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In memoriam: Herbert H. Wiggins, Jr.

Herbert H. Wiggins, Jr. died May 22 in his home town of Decatur, Alabama.

Herb passionately loved railroads. He volunteered for rail museums in Chattanooga and Calera (near Birmingham). Recently he traveled by rail across Canada and revisited his beloved Alaska. (Herb served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era, including a tour of duty in Anchorage.) Herb loved nature and helped build walking trails in North Alabama.

Many who encountered Herb’s sometimes gruff and demanding exterior later grew to know a gentle man of great integrity and compassion.

Herb is survived by a brother, Richard Wiggins (Judy Matthews) of Okemos, Michigan as well as numerous relatives in the Wiggins and Gardiner families. Close friends and their families meant much to Herb: Julian Hamilton, Deana Baker, Tim Butler, his “honorary grandson” Chris Reed and the Qualls family, and many others. Jackie Turner provided comfort in Herb’s last days.

Those who loved Herb will gather in June for a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of choice, or say a kind word to a loved one.

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