Janice Wiggins


Janice Wiggins

Janice M. Wiggins, age 91 of Westbrook, passed away Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Westbrook Good Samaritan Care Center.  Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 20 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook. Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 19 at Westbrook Funeral Home with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at church. Interment will be in the Westbrook Cemetery.  Stephens Funeral Service – Westbrook Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Janice Marilyn (Johnson) Wiggins was born May 12, 1927 to Julius and Mabel (Hanson) Johnson in Ann Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota.  She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook and confirmed there with the class of 1942.  Janice attended country school District 43 of Cottonwood County for eight years and graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1945.  In the fall of 1945, she enrolled at Mankato State Teacher’s College and then she transferred to St. Olaf College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics in 1949.  She began teaching in the Westbrook Public School in the fall of 1949.  On June 17, 1951, Janice was united in marriage to Arthur Wiggins, her high school sweetheart, at Trinity Lutheran Church.  She continued teaching Home Economics until 1959.  From 1959-1970, Janice was a stay-at-home mom.  In 1970, she resumed her teaching career at the Westbrook Public School and retired in 1990.  Art and Janice resided at the home farm until 2001, when they purchased their home in Westbrook.  She was a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church, a very important part of her life.  Janice was active in WELCA, quilting and bible study.  Her hobbies included cooking, sewing, gardening, ballroom dancing, and traveling.  She traveled to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 1985, Japan in 1988, Norway in 2002 and Ireland in 2003.

Janice is survived by her children: Julie (Mark) Nadeau of San Antonio, TX, Mary (Tim) McKasy of St. Paul, and John (Mara) Wiggins of Walnut Grove; grandchildren: Jessica (Mircea) Tipescu of Highland Park, IL, Brendan Nadeau of San Antonio, TX, Justin Nadeau of Addison, TX, and Elizabeth & Abby Wiggins of Walnut Grove; and great-grandchildren: Grace & Adrian Tipescu of Highland Park, IL. She is preceded in death by her parents Julius and Mabel Johnson, husband Arthur, and granddaughter Katherine Emma Wiggins.  Blessed be her memory.


  1. Marilyn Peschges says

    My sympathy, I will so miss her. We always had to chat at the grocery store. Cool that her middle name was Marilyn . Sorry for your loss.

    Mike and Marilyn Peschges

  2. Steve and Mary Larson says

    Janice was a lovely kind woman to all. I always wished she had been teaching home economics when I was in high school. Many speak highly of her. Our sincere sympathy to all family members and loved ones.

  3. Kathy Schultz says

    RIP. Thank you for trying to show me how to sew. I didn’t revisit it until.I was about 30 and do usey sewing machine often. You will be missed. Thanks for your patience and kindness to all us kids back then.

  4. Eunice Christensen says

    Janice (Mrs. Wiggins) was one of my very favorite teachers EVER! I had her in 7th 8th, 9th and 10th grade for home economics (when she was Miss Johnson). In 7th grade (1949-50) we each sewed a skirt. Over the years, we made pajamas, a dress, and other items. During one year when the new home ec. room was being built, Janice didn’t have stoves, sinks, and refrigerators, as she was moved to a smaller room. She had to come up with new ideas. We learned to knit (I made mittens and a scarf). We painted and etched on glass tumblers, and did other crafts. I enjoyed looking at those items that I had made in her class through the years. After she had been at home for a few years while raising her children, she returned to teaching and had both of our daughters, Cathie Ann and Christie Lynn, as her students. They respected and loved her, too. Mrs. Wiggins enriched the lives of her students, her family, her fellow church members, and really everyone she knew. Blessed be her memory. Love to all of Janice’s family!

  5. Ranae Sell says

    Sending prayers your mother was a wonderful person and in many peoples eyes she was a saint for putting up with everyone during her teaching years i still have the blanket we made in her class . What a wonderful lady she will be missed by many

  6. Maureen Wiecks says

    Dear Julie, Mary and John,
    Your mother was nothing less than lovely. I am so glad that my mom and I had a chance to see her when we were in the area last month. I realize she was having some challenges the past few months, but how nice that your parents have been reunited. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers as you have had a difficult loss.
    Maureen Wiecks

  7. Roxy Soll says

    So sorry to hear this. Your mom was a lovely person. Prayers to you all. Roxy Soll

  8. Roger and Carolyn Benson says

    Janice was a good teacher, a good friend, a handy co-chairman of ours. My sister LeAnn had Janice for a teacher, as did I, and then both of my children. We all loved her, and Art too. Our sympathy is with all of you, and now Janice is serenaded by angels.

  9. Ann Knutson says

    Dear Family,
    Your mother (and father) were such dear friends to my parents. They all had so much fun together at the Sunday night dances in Worthington. In turn, I too was touched by them also. I always enjoyed our talks together. She was so proud of all of you. I’m so thankful that I was able to see her this Spring. You are all in my thoughts as she will be missed.

  10. Marlene warling says

    Sorry for your loss, God bless all of you in your time of need.

  11. Linda Schmalz says

    I am on vacation,and did her hair just before we left.I gave her our usual hug and said I will see you soon.we will be home in a couple days. I will miss her a lot.we had many wonderful visits during the time I did her hair.Beautiful lady inside and out.??????

  12. Scott Tighe says

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I had Mrs. Wiggins for home ec in the 70’s. She was a great person and teacher. I still find it amazing that she could be as calm as she was while teaching a bunch of teenage boys. We learned a lot that made us well rounded today. Heck, I don’t know to many males that can cook, bake, iron, and sew today! But, thanks to Mrs. Wiggins, I am proud to say that I can.

  13. Robin M. says

    So many of us in this small, rural community enjoyed Mrs. Wiggins’ joyful attitude towards life. Since she was once my teacher, I just can’t call her by first name. She always deserved the respect of her full name. May the peace of Jesus be with her family

  14. Rod and Nancy Boeck says

    Thoughts and prayers to Janice’s family… we so enjoyed taking ballroom dance classes with her and Art…

  15. reed wiecks says

    One of the kindest people I ever met. Janice made you feel good about yourself.

    My best to her family.

  16. Ruth Hoyme says

    I was sad to read today of Mrs. Wiggins passing. She was one of my favorite teachers, and I too wish I could have had her as a teacher through high school– I graduated in 1963. She was a very kind and caring person which made her a great teacher. I remember her patience and her smile. In recent years I enjoyed seeing her at concerts in Slayton for the Prairie Music Concert Series and it was always great to see her. What a beautiful person. My sympathy to you in your loss, but know you have great memories of her.

  17. Lynette Kleven Smith says

    So sorry to hear about Janice. She was a wonderful friend to my Mom. Loved to come to the farm in the fall and get apples from the old tree. Super Lady!

  18. Laura Munoz says

    I only had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Wiggins once, but her warmth was evident. I do know her daughter Julie and her family, who have shared such beautiful memories of her. She was a much loved lady.

  19. Dan Peterson says

    My sympathy to you John and your whole family. Your mom was a special lady. God bless-

  20. Terri Hurd says

    My sympathy to your family. Janice was a wonderful woman and I am blessed to have met her! God bless

  21. Mike Cross says

    Mrs. Wiggins was a teacher that you took with you after you graduated the hallowed halls of WHS. She went with me to college where I used the skills I learned in her class to get my whites white and my colors bright. Mrs. Wiggins was present at my second date, with my now wife, as I prepared a meal, set the table and yes there was dessert. She was with me on my wedding day when my button popped off and I had to do an emergency sewing exercise before walking down the aisle. She helped me raise and teach my own 4 kids the importance of self sufficiency, manors and kindness. But most of all Mrs. Wiggins is with me each day when I treat somebody with respect and show kindness and compassion to someone struggling to learn or fit in…these are things that an extraordinary teacher taught to generations of students. We were blessed to have had her in our lives. Deepest sympathy to family and friends who now celebrate her memory.

  22. Jeannie and Gary Murray says

    We met Janice and Art on Hickam AFB in Honolulu, when they would come to visit Julie, Mark, and Boys. What wonderful salt of the earth people, who were so easy to talk with and call your friends. They made a special trip to DC for Gary’s promotion to celebrate this milestone with us. When my Dad was in the hospital after heart surgery, Janice and Art called me in Illinois to offer up prayers for my Dad. So we say thank you, Lord, for letting us get to know Janice and Art Wiggins, who were extraordinary people! We send our love to the entire family.

  23. Bruce and Martha Jensen says

    Please accept our condolences. We just got home from vacation and heard the news.
    I have such pleasant memories of Janice, all the way from high school home ec class to the dancing adventures of Art and Janice with my parents Mike and Bonnie Knutson. I know they are now all reunited and happily swaying to the music of the eternal dance. May they again find joy with each other.

  24. William WHITE says

    I’ll always remember how Janice bailed me out of a tight situation. We were both chaperoning Westbrook students at the Minnesota Zoo and were rapidly running out of energy so we decided to visit the amphitheater and relax. The White Sidewalls were playing and they were encouraging every one to stand up and sing alone which I was to exhausted to do. They saw me as the only one sitting and came into the crowd prepared to get me up on the stage which I really did not want to do. As they approached I spoke some nonsensical words and they looked at Janice who never missed a beat when she said “he doesn’t speak English”. A good friend and a great lady.

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