1943 - 2017 Donald Glen ("Don") Wiggins, Sr., 74, beloved husband, father, teacher, musician, died March 30, 2017, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York, of complications from a recent illness. Born in Orlando, Florida, he was the son of the late Marion Joiner Wiggins and Mildred Lucille Wiggins also of Orlando.
Mr. Wiggins received his undergraduate and masters degrees in music from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He received a doctorate in music from the University of Illinois in 1972. Immediately after obtaining his doctorate he began teaching at the university level, first at the State University of New York at Fredonia, then at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He sang professionally in the United States and in Europe. He conducted many and varied ensembles of singers and instrumentalists, including operatic performances and numerous church choirs in Washington DC, New York, Connecticut. While at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC he formed the National Singers, who performed and recorded to high acclaim for many years. Most recently he was music director at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Orange, Connecticut. He frequently performed in concert as a soloist and with his wife, soprano Mary McCarthy.
He was a complete musician – singer, conductor, instrumentalist, organist, pianist, coach – and a beloved teacher. His students learned from him that joy and energy are essential in making music. He infused his teaching and his life with vivid, unhesitating joy. He was a pilot, craftsman, photographer. He enjoyed cooking and making furniture. He could fix anything. He brought energy and excitement to everything he did.
Survivors include his wife, Mary K. McCarthy; brothers, Daniel A. (Alexia) of Sumter, SC, and David J. (Linda) of Cameron, NC; two sons, Donald Glen, Jr. (Suzanne), of Germantown, MD, and John Reeves (Kathleen) of Bloomery, WV; two grandsons, Sebastian and Tobias, of Germantown, MD; many nieces and nephews; and a heavenly host of friends, students and fellow musicians.
Memorial arrangements are being handled by Graham Funeral Home, 1036 Boston Post Road, Rye, New York 10580.
A service to celebrate Don's life will be held Saturday, April 22, at 11:00 a.m., at Christ's Church, 2 Rectory Street, Rye, New York 10580.
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