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Clifton "Tip" Wiggins

Obituary for Clifton "Tip" Wiggins

November 28, 1925 - January 31, 2021
Newtown, Pennsylvania | Age 95

Obituary

Clifton Earl "Tip" Wiggins, a lifelong resident of Newtown , aged 95, left his earthly world on January 31 at Chandler Hall Hospice. He was a tough fighter until the very end of his life's journey.

Tip was born November 28, 1925 in Newtown, and grew up on Mayflower Farm, Eagle Road with his 11 brothers and sisters. As a youngster, there was milking, chores, & trap lines to run before heading to Good Intent Elementary on RT 413, then Newtown High on Chancellor Street, four miles into town; "uphill in both directions". In January of his senior year after just turning 18, Tip was given permission to enlist in the United States Navy. Decades later Council Rock had a formal graduation ceremony for those who left school early, to serve. After record time training, his unit would eventually become part of the "Little Beavers", a Navy Destroyer Squad in WWII awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. The fleet was under command of Admiral Arleigh Burke. Tip served on two different destroyers that ran the "picket-fence" defense of constant kamikaze attacks, for the carriers and other larger warships during the "Okinawa Invasion". He was a First Gunner's Mate; and served on the USS Converse DD509 after his first ship USS PGM17 was sunk by kamikazes at Okinawa.

After WW II, he returned to the farm, played town baseball, met Elizabeth Hickey, and eventually worked at Newtown Ford, Reedman's and Penn Auto Body, before opening Wiggins Auto Body Shop, which operated at the same South Sycamore St. Newtown address for a span covering four decades. In addition to expert body and fender and paint work done there, the shop was gathering place for a large groups of locals on Saturday mornings where old story's, current events and general tall tales were the order of the day. Tip may have been the last surviving member of that gang of characters.

He and "Bette", were married in 1949, and celebrated 71 years of marriage last year. They lived on N. Chancellor Street in Newtown until 2019. Tip was pre deceased by parents William W. and Laura R. Wiggins as well as siblings, Sam, Bill, Jane, John, Stanley, Lenore, Elaine, Iverna and Millie. He also leaves behind surviving sisters Madeline and Shirley, and many nieces and nephews.

After spending the last four years in memory care, Tip, a devoted husband and father, will be sadly missed by his wife, Bette, three children; Susan, Robby, (Cindy) and Lisa Foster, (Rick). He also leaves behind grandchildren , Abby and Scott Wiggins and Amanda (Matt) Flood and great grandchildren Kendall and Hailey Flood.

Tip was a long time member of the Newtown American Legion, (where he was one of the first Newtown ambulance drivers). He was an original member of The Tink-Wig Rod & Gun Club in Pike County, and a former long time member of The Newtown Reliance Company as well as Newtown Seniors. After retiring Tip and Bette took many trips they had deprived themselves of during their "working" years. They visited Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Sweden, Russia, Canada, and visited 49/50 states, apologies to Oregon! They also attended several WWII "Little Beaver's" reunions.

In his spare time Tip loved to trout fish and hunt small game and deer. He also had a green thumb with his vegetable garden; especially his famous pole lima beans and tomatoes. In the summer time, just give Tip a fresh garden tomato, a glass of ice tea, and about 8 ears of Silver Queen; he was good to go! Sunday's were grilled chicken picnic in the back yard. In later years Tip and Bette had a Saturday night Bingo then Pinochle routine, with their dear friends. Many thanks to Jay and Dolly Luff who watched out for and did lots of "taxi" service for the group.

Relatives and friends are invited to Tip's memorial Life Celebration on Friday, May 14, 2021 from 8AM to 9:30 AM at the Swartz Givnish Funeral Home, 323 Washington Ave, Newtown, PA. Interment with military honors will be held at Washington Crossing National Cemetery on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 10 AM.. Memorial contributions can be made to Morrell Smith American Legion Post 440, 41 Linden Ave. Newtown, PA. 18940

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Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940
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