Fern Wiggins: Leaving a Lasting Legacy

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Nursing scholarship to Lubbock Christian University accepting applicatons

Leaving behind a legacy of love and encouragement, the late Fern (Johnson) Wiggins, R.N. always held a strong desire to help further the education of many to come in the healthcare profession. In honor of her memory, W.R. and Mary Linda (Wiggins) Collier have established the Fern (Johnson) Wiggins, R.N. Endowed Nursing Scholarship at Lubbock Christian University.

Currently accepting applications, the BSN scholarship is offered to qualified applicants with a preference being given to those from Bosque County, or those having a personal or family connection to Fern, who spent over 37 years of a committed nursing career at Goodall-Witcher Clinic and Hospital before retiring in 1991.

Born in the Norwegian community of Clifton on June 27, 1921, Fern grew up on the family farm at Norse, a place where a great and loyal work ethic was nurtured. She attended grade school and junor high at the Norse Turkey Creek School. After graduating from Clifton High School, Fern attended Clifton College, where she met her future husband, Tommy (T.J.) Wiggins. Graduating together, Tommy entered into a career as a U.S. Navy pilot while Fern entered the Providence School of Nursing in Waco.

In 1944, Fern earned her R.N. nursing degree, completed the Texas State Board Registration for R.N.s and became a full member of the National Red Cross Nursing Service as a First Reserve. That same year, Fern and Tommy were married and they lived on the Naval Base in Pensacola, Fla., before touring several other bases and serving in the Philippines.

After retiring from the Navy, the Wiggins made their home in Clifton, where Tommy farmed, ranched and worked for the U.S. Postal Service, while Fern embarked on her nursing career at Goodall-Witcher. Following her retirement, Fern continued to serve Goodall-Witcher and the community as a volunteer until she passed away Feb. 14, 2016. Fern’s career and her selfless devotion to others has been immortalized in the sculpture “Dream No Little Dream” by Jack Walker on display in the Goodall-Witcher Hospital lobby.

The Endowed Scholarship requires the following criteria: 1) The student must meet admission requirements and be in good standings with the university; 2) First preference will be given to an applicant with a connection to Bosque County, Clifton or Fern Wiggins; 3) Recipents must have successfully completed at least one semester and intend to practice in Texas to be eligible for the award. If you feel you meet the criteria, please come to the Goodall-Witcher Hospital main entrance and request an application packet. If you have any questions, please contact Jennie Oldham at (254) 675-8322 ext. 7993.