Charles H. Wiggins
Charles Hebron Wiggins was born Nov. 5, 1925 in Waycross, Georgia, the son of Charles Clemon Wiggins and Elsie May Miller Wiggins.
He has two sisters, Bessie Wilkes (deceased) and Ruby Decker of Ft. Myers, Florida.
The family moved to Watertown, Florida near Lake City in 1937 where his father ran a shingle and lathe mill. The family moved back to Waycross, Georgia until 1940, when they moved to Jacksonville, Florida where his father worked in Gibbs shipyard as a ship carpenter. Charles went to Landon High School, worked as a Western Union delivery boy, ran a newspaper route and worked as an arc welder.
He joined the U.S. Navy in January 1943. After attending boot camp in Bainbridge, Maryland, then pre-commissioning training in NewPort, Rhode Island. He was then assigned to the new Battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin in Philadelphia. The Wisconsin sailed to the far western Pacific to the Caroline Islands where it joined Admiral Halsey’s 3rd fleet.
The Wisconsin supported the invasion of the Philippines, naval action in the South China Sea, survived a devastating typhoon, supported the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and numerous kamikaze attacks and was in Tokyo Bay when the war ended Sept. 2, 1945. In 1946, Charles was honorably discharged from the Navy and then returned home to Jacksonville, Florida.
He found work as a surveyor for the Florida State Road Department. He met his future wife Terry Barrett in 1948 and they were married in Folkston, Georgia on Sept. 29, 1949. Charles then went to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Jacksonville District). He worked with a mobile survey unit throughout Florida and Puerto Rico.
He also worked as an inspector on various dredging projects and as a construction representative. Charles and Terry helped establish the Naranja Baptist Church near Homestead, Florida in 1963. Charles and Terry have one daughter, Sandra Jean Ferguson born Oct. 2, 1959. Charles retired from the Corps of Engineers in 1982. They moved from Homestead, Florida to Sebring in 1988.
Charles is a charter member of the VFW Post 9853 in Avon Park which he helped organize and served as their Chaplain for nine years. Graveside services will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Avon Park, Florida.
Arrangements entrusted to Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home, 4001 Sebring Parkway, Sebring, Florida 33870. Online condolences may be left at stephensonnelsonfh.com.