John Hayden Wiggs, Jr.

    Birth Date: 10/24/1940
    Deceased Date: 02/29/2024

    John Hayden Wiggs, Jr., aged 83, of Selma, passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Born October 24, 1940, he was the oldest of three sons of the late Hayden and Marcia Wiggs.

    John is survived by his wife of almost 56 years, Barbara “Bobbie” Wiggs, daughter Marcia “Marcy” Wiggs Romary, son-in-law Peter Romary, granddaughter Elizabeth Romary and her fiancé Alex Velto, brothers Sefton Wiggs (Cheryl), Richard (Ginger), several nieces and nephews and dear cousins.

    John graduated from the Darlington School and attended UNC-Chapel Hill and Washington and Lee University before joining the United States Coast Guard in 1963. After active-duty service, he was a member of the Coast Guard Reserves until 1971.
    John joined his father in the family business, Wiggs Cleaners, which he operated until his retirement. His commitment to the town of Selma and Johnston County included working on the committee for the town’s Centennial celebration in 1967 to spearheading refurbishing the old gym on Webb Street into the Selma Civic Center, which came to fruition in 2019. In between those benchmarks he served on the Selma Housing Authority, and also served on the committee that established Selma’s Railroad Days.

    John’s favorite place was his beloved Cielo e Mar, the beach home he and Bobbie bought in 1981. John had a wide variety of interests including almost every genre of music. His love of classical music ranged from the symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, Ives, and a special love for Gustav Mahler to an encyclopedic knowledge of opera. His favorite opera composer was Verdi, but he was often heard to say, “Rossini must have been a happy man!”. His collections included pieces for almost every holiday including more than 700 nutcrackers, an amazing number of antique and vintage Halloween decorations, and flags for every occasion. Some of his more unusual collections include vintage cocktail shakers and furniture that included an old spinning wheel, and a beautiful ice box.

    A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 7, at 1:00 pm in the Selma Civic Center located at 300 N. Webb St. in Selma, NC. A reception with the family will immediately follow the service. Private interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Selma.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Duke Health in support of the Hematology Malignancy General Research Fund. Please mail checks, made out to Duke University, to Duke Health Development, ATTN: Jillian Ream, Box 90581, Durham, NC 27708 or visit to make a secure gift online. Gifts may also be made to the Selma Public Library. Please mail checks, made out to the Town of Selma, to the Selma Public Library at 301 N. Pollock St., Selma, NC 27576.

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