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Dr. Ben E. Wiggins, Jr.

February 28, 1935 May 11, 2019
Dr. Ben E. Wiggins, Jr.
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Obituary for Dr. Ben E. Wiggins, Jr.

PORTSMOUTH - Dr. Benjamin Ewing Wiggins, Jr., 84, died on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in his home. Moving at the age of three from his birthplace in Nashville, Tennessee to Portsmouth, Virginia, he became a proud resident of that city for the rest of his life. Dr. Wiggins was the son and only child of the late Benjamin Ewing Wiggins, Sr. and Carrie Harrell Wiggins. He recalled so fondly the privilege he had of growing up in the Green Acres area and the Glenshellah section of Portsmouth. It was here that he formed so many of his life-long friendships which he retained until his death.

Dr. Wiggins is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lynn Mapp Wiggins, and three daughters, Susan Wiggins Moore (Jeffrey Lee Moore) of Locust Valley, New York, Elizabeth Wiggins Schinto (Dr. John J. Schinto, III) of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Sallie Mapp Wiggins of Norfolk, Virginia. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: John Schinto, IV, Taylor Schinto, Benjamin Ewing Schinto, Sallie Bell Moore, Mary Cooper Moore, Lee Moore and Duke Moore.

He was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and a 1957 graduate of Virginia Military Institute. He received his doctor of dental surgery from the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University) in 1961. Dr. Wiggins was commissioned as a Captain in the United States Army Dental Corp, and was awarded an internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He then served at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas after which he became director of the crown and bridge department at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Following his military service, he returned home to Portsmouth where he opened his practice in 1964. During the course of his career he had additional offices in Nags Head, North Carolina and in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake. He retained his practice for 55 years and looked forward to each day, greeting his beloved staff and patients with a smile and often a song. Never did he turn anyone away who was in pain because of their finances. He was driven not by a paycheck, but by a passion for his profession.

Dr. Wiggins was a life member of the American Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association, the Tidewater Dental Association and the Portsmouth/Suffolk Dental Study Club. A charter member and past president of the Rotary Club of Churchland, he rarely missed a Tuesday morning breakfast meeting in 34 years. His legacy with Rotary will be the Christmas Fund which he chaired from the inception of the club through 2018. He was a member of the Portsmouth Assembly and served as secretary-treasurer for many years, and was a member of Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club. Dr. Wiggins was a life-time member of Monumental United Methodist Church, where he formerly served on the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Committee, and was a faithful member of the Adams-Gum Sunday School class.

In addition to his family and profession, Dr. Wiggins had an abiding love for the game of golf. He began playing at Glenshellah Country Club at the age of 10, and was on the golf team at W.W.H.S. and VMI. He enjoyed playing in many local tournaments (often winning), and for many years led a group of about 30 “Dirty Duffers” to Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks. Four weeks prior to his death, he attended the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. He was a sports enthusiast, rarely missing a home University of Virginia football or basketball game.

The sanctuary at Monumental Church is continuing to be restored because of the tragic fire. Therefore, a service of worship to God in thanksgiving for the life of Dr. Ben Wiggins will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church, 3312 Cedar Lane, Portsmouth, VA 23703 on Wednesday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends at home. Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Restoration Fund of Monumental United Methodist Church, 450 Dinwiddie Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704, the Rotary Club of Churchland, 3309 Lilac Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23703 or to the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation (formerly Portsmouth Community Foundation), 1435 Crossways Blvd., Suite 300, Chesapeake, VA 23320.

Condolences may be made to the family online at

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2:00 PM 5/15/2019 2:00:00 PM
Centenary United Methodist Church

3312 Cedar Lane
Portsmouth, VA 23703

Centenary United Methodist Church
3312 Cedar Lane Portsmouth 23703 VA
United States

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