Harold Wiggers and Doreen Badger

 

image of Harold Wiggers and Doreen Badger

Harold Wiggers and Doreen Badger

Harold Robert Wiggers, 93, of Bellevue, WA, died on March 26, 2022.  His wife, Doreen Badger, 88, died on March 31, 2022 after an extended time with Alzheimer’s.  Harold had been her loving caretaker for the last few years.  A Celebration of Life will be held on July 2nd, in Eldridge, IA, at the Wiggers family homestead.

Harold was born in Muscatine, IA on June 29, 1928 to Harold and Mildred (Zimmerman) Wiggers.  He spent his youth in Eldridge, IA with his parents and 4 younger siblings.  In 8th grade he won the state spelling bee and then graduated from Davenport High School in 1946.  He was the first in his community to attend college, at Iowa State University, graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1953.  Prior to going to college he worked 3 years at Eckermann Hardware, in Eldridge, and was also in ROTC in both high school and college.  Immediately after college, to fulfill his 2-year military commitment, the Army Corps of Engineers sent him to Germany, along with his red convertible.  It was there he met his first wife, Lore, later moving to New Jersey, and having two boys, Boris and Bruce.

Harold was employed by Exxon from 1953-1986, living in over 11 different countries, working on major installation and expansions of oil refineries.  After retiring he was a consultant until 1993, living in Canada and Singapore.  One of his younger co-workers said, “Harold had a deeper way of thinking, and had the ability to share wisdom with the next generation.”  He used his retirement years volunteering for AARP Volunteer Tax Preparation for over 15 years, helping the community elderly and low income.

While working in London, he met Doreen Badger, and they were married in Nov-1986.  Doreen was born and grew up in South Africa.  She worked in the tourist industry in Johannesburg, South Africa, renting travel RVs.  She had one daughter, Jane, from a previous marriage.  Doreen was very outgoing and enjoyed playing badminton with her friends in Washington along with being very artistic in sewing, carpentry, photography and many other crafts.  Harold and Doreen enjoyed many years of traveling throughout the world.

Harold had a very strong bond with his four siblings, Ruth, Ralph, Ken and Keith.  They exemplified their strong family bond to all younger family members.  Although the five of them lived across the country, they made a point to get together often, including all their spouses, to enjoy time together.  For Harold’s 80th birthday there were 60 family members that stayed together in Eldridge, at the Wiggers homestead.

Harold and Doreen died within 5 days of each other.  They are survived by Harold’s siblings Ruth Arp, Eldridge, IA, Ralph (Virginia) Wiggers, Crossville, TN, Ken Wiggers, Kelley, IA, Keith (Jan) Wiggers, Burlington, WA. Their combined children: Boris (Nadia) Wiggers, Sammanish, WA, Bruce (Tracy) Wiggers, Calgary, CAN, Jane Bishop, Wales, UK as well as their grandchildren, Jeffrey and Kelsey Wiggers, Calgary, CAN and Matthew, Jeremy and William Bishop, Wales, UK, and many nieces and nephews across the country, that all will miss them both dearly.

 

14 Responses to “Harold Wiggers and Doreen Badger”

  • Jane Bishop says:

    My beloved Mum and Harold
    I already miss you more than words can say. My world will be smaller now that you have gone. I will be forever grateful to Harold and his brother Keith, and son Bruce for taking such tender care of my mother during the challenges of the last few years during a global pandemic. I know that my mother was much loved during her lifetime — and embraced by her American and Canadian family. Thank you all so much. May Harold and my Mum rest in peace.
    Jane xxx

  • Mrs Freda Fergusson says:

    I met Doreen when we were training at Ballet School in London. I was 17 and Doreen was 19 and even though life took us on different paths we remained friends and met up whenever we could. Doreen did not pursue a career in Ballet but her love of the Theatre remained and she and Harold would regularly go to Opera and Ballet performances. When I visited Bellevue in 2015 and again in 2016 I was pleased to get to know Harold better and I saw how protective he was of Doreen as she was becoming frailer.
    There is a hole in my life now but I will fill it with lots of happy memories.

    Freda Fergusson nee Moonlight

  • Matthew Bishop says:

    My dearest loved ones.

    My humblest apologies for not visiting the family in the US before this tragedy occurred but I don’t think I ever got the chance to. Harold always supported my dreams and drove me to realise my potential in science. Doreen, my grandmother had a very sneaky way of making me feel like family, and she did it by not making me feel like family at all, which I’ve learnt to appreciate in hindsight. I loved you both to the moon and back, which is a saying nana would tell me as a child. Love you both and I’ll miss you more than emotions could express within my body. Matty

  • Jeremy Bishop says:

    It’s sad to see you both go. I’m so grateful now for the occasional emails I would receive from you, even if there wasn’t much to talk about beyond the weather!
    Thank you for the role that you played in me and my brothers’ lives. May you find peace.
    Lots of love, as always,
    Jeremy

  • Peter Flynn says:

    My life was sure better for crossing paths with Harold…an extraordinarily good chemical engineer who, as my boss, shared his wisdom gently and thoughtfully. He made me a much better engineer. He also became a friend outside of work. Thanks, Harold, for the gift.

  • Susan Frye says:

    Dear Kenny: I am really sorry to read about the deaths of Harold and his wife (the obituary is beautifully written). I so enjoyed our visit when you brought him to the farm a few years ago. I learned a lot about your family homestead, Eldridge history, farming practices and myriad other topics. His knowledge and enthusiasm were expansive. Please accept my condolences and extend them to Keith. Sincerely, Susan Frye, Maysville.

  • Patti Frye Lounsbury says:

    I am so sorry, Kenny. This is a beautiful tribute to them.

  • Nancy E. (Moeller) Kays says:

    Ruth and brothers, I am so sorry to hear of Harold’s passing, he and his wife had a wonderful life. Harold was so instrumental in my brother Jim’s life. Your family made quite an inspiration to the town of Eldridge. Your mom would stop by and visit with my mom when she was in town. Ruth I remember when dad &I were out for a ride, dad said “I want to see Mr. ARP, you were there fixing several meals he could freeze and have meals for several days. We were so happy we had stopped. Ralph had honey bees when Milt &I lived in Phoenix. Ken my brother Bob said you were at North Scott at the same time. Your family have wonderful memories, treasure them. You are in my prayers. God bless!

  • Bruce Wiggers says:

    It’s been a challenge to write something here, as it really is recognition of my fathers death, which continues to haunt me. I see the man that made many sacrifices to ensure that I had more opportunities than given to him. On my last and final visit he continued to care more for others than he did for himself. He wanted the best care for Doreen when he was no longer physically able to care for her. This prompted me to visit and get him to start looking after himself. Sadly, after getting him to a doctor to deal with his own aches and pains the result was a need to investigate an enlarged part of his liver. We both continued to be positive even though being informed that it looked like cancer. After a liver biopsy a sepsis infection took his life few days later.
    At 93 he continued to be very informed about world events and always was interested in having intelligent discussions about almost any topic. In his eighties he dedicated countless hours volunteering to not only prepare other peoples taxes, but train people to do such volunteer work.
    I would say that my dad was a man of integrity who always thought about others and his actions taught me the same. Although he was frugal in terms of how he saved and spent his money I have only now learned and am proud of how generous he was to charities he supported.
    I recognize that it is a difficult process to write something in this space, however appreciate everything that has been written and encourage others to write a few words.

  • Marilyn Dengler says:

    I am sorry to read of Harold’s passing and wish to send condolences to all his family. Harold and I were in the same class in Davenport High School, but we first met on the stage at the Eldridge Turner Hall at the Scott County Spelling Contest when we were in 7th grade. He won that year and I was second. The same thing happened in 8th grade; he beat me again and went on to win the state contest.
    He was always a gracious winner and we became good friends through our high school years. We had many good laughs over those years as we would get together at class reunions in later years. We actually looked forward to seeing each other, just to touch base once again.
    So, my sincere condolences to all his family. He was a great guy. Marilyn Fahrenkrog Dengler

  • Kelsey Wiggers says:

    As I’ve been told, Grandpa Harold was a serious and stoic man in his earlier years. That’s not to say I wasn’t successful with making jokes to get a cheeky smile or a laugh out of him when we visited (hopefully they weren’t just pity laughs…!). As my brother and I grew a bit older, I began sparking deeper and more serious conversations with our Grandfather and was always in awe of how progressive, open minded, intelligent and kind he truly was. Likewise, Granny D was a quick witted, very curious and had numerous artistic talents that continue to impress me to this day. When my dad told us that grandpa Harold wasn’t well, saying that it it was incredibly unexpected and emotionally difficult would be an understatement. Only days later, this shock was amplified when we found out that he was no longer with us. More horrible news came when Granny D soon thereafter joined him.

    My grandparents’ passing made me start to reflect a bit more on what their time together might have meant; I can’t help but think of a beautiful quote I found neatly scribed on one of Doreen’s note pads: “Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but my the number of moments that take your breath away.” What better words could be used to describe the lives of two open minded and curious spirits that loved to discover the world? I can only hope that where ever you’ve both gone, your adventure continues to bring these special moments. ♥️ Rest easy Grandpa Harold & Granny D, love and miss you.

  • Lisa Leong-Tsang says:

    Doreen was a member of our Badminton Ladies group and we enjoyed her spirit and smile over many years in Bellevue. Harold and Doreen attended potlucks and parties hosted by various members of our circle and it was always a joy to spend time together with our love of the sport and friendships. We will miss Doreen and Harold so much!

  • Cathy Hediger says:

    Yesterday was Doreen’s birthday so the badminton ladies would have arranged a pot luck to celebrate the occasion after playing badminton.

    I will miss Doreen and Harold’s company but remember them fondly for their gentle souls and warm smiles. My condolences to their family.

  • Bryan and Cindy McMillan says:

    Dear families of Doreen and Harold,

    My husband Bryan met Doreen while attending SAIT in Calgary, Alberta and they immediately bonded over their struggles in class and became fast friends. We kept in touch through the years and were delighted when Harold came into our lives through Doreen. We discovered that both had an innate curiosity about life and love for travelling, so we invited them to join us on a Trans-Atlantic cruise along with six others. Though they were the elder statesmen in our group, they fit right in and touched our hearts with their many stories about life and family, gales of laughter and shared experiences in our travels together. After they moved to Bellevue, we saw them when they made visits to Calgary while checking in with family. They will remain very dear to our hearts and remembered as gentle, loving souls in our journey through life.

    Bryan and Cindy McMillan
    Calgary, Alberta

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