Charles William Wiggins was born on February 26, 1937 in Clarion, Iowa and was the second son of Arthur Lyle and Mary Harriet Wiggins. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday May 16th, 2016 at St Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, TX. In 1958, he married the love of his life, Mary Jane (Burkett), and together they had four children: Angila Sue Ervin, and her husband Jay, Scott William Wiggins, and his wife Ann, Theodore Arthur Wiggins, and Mary Beth Wurzbach and her husband Mark. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
After graduating from Clarion High, he attended and graduated from the University of Iowa, majoring in political science. Subsequent graduate work, also in political science, occurred at Washington University in St. Louis where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. During this period he was in ROTC and served as a Second Lt. in the U.S Army. In 1964, he received his first academic appointment with the department of history, government, and philosophy at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. In 1979, he took leave from Iowa State to join the Kansas City regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he worked as an intergovernmental relations specialist in the four state region. In 1981, he joined the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University as a full professor and also as the first director of the new Master of Public Administration Program, training students for jobs in the public and non-profit sectors.
During his career, Charles was active in several professional and political organizations. Among them was service as the president of the Iowa Conference of Political Science, State Legislative Fellow of the American Political Science Association, president of the Southwestern Political Science Association, and chair of the Texas Association of Schools of Public Administration and Affairs. He was also a founding member of the Iowa Campaign Finance Disclosure Commision. On the more political level, he proudly served two terms as the chair of the Brazos County Democratic Party.
Charles was an active researcher and writer on political topics. His many writings tended to focus on state legislatures, political parties, and interest groups, as well as lobbying. After a long and fruitful career as a pofessional educator, he retired from Texas A&M as a professor emeritus of political science in 2002.
Charles is also survived by his brother, James Arthur Wiggins (and wife Beverly) and his family of Pittsboro, North Carolina. A memorial service dedicated to his life will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the chapel of the Arbor Oaks Retirement Complex at 2505 E. Villa Maria in Bryan. There will be two services. The first service will be for Arbor Oaks residents at 10:00 am. The second service will be for family and friends at 2:00 pm with reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to make a donation to:
Charles Wiggins Political Science Memorial Scholarship Fund
The donation may be made to any Wells Fargo Bank nationwide, or a check may be mailed to:
Wells Fargo Bank, 3000 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan 77802
For more information contact