Obituaries for Fri., Dec. 16, 2011

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 16, 2011


Robert Guy Wiggins died at his home in Birmingham on Dec. 11, 2011.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Sat., Dec. 17, at Foreman Brown Funeral Home. Visitation will be held prior to the service, at 10:30 a.m.

Born in the Rose Hill Community on Nov. 1, 1915, Wiggins was the eldest of six children. He attended Straughn High School and studied music and the violin at Troy State University, where he played second violin in the college orchestra.

A veteran of two wars, Wiggins enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940 and served in the European Theatre in World War II with the 117th Field Artillery Battalion. The Army promoted Wiggins to second lieutenant in 1942. In Europe, Wiggins saw action in the Battle of the Bulge, the Nazi’s stiffest counter offensive of the war.

In 1945, he returned home to Andalusia and helped organize the local National Guard. Wiggins was again mobilized for the Korean Conflict and fought on the Asian peninsula as battery commander with the 999th Field Artillery Battalion. He was honorably discharged as a captain in 1959. His decorations include the World War II medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Medal with three Bronze Stars for Ardennes Rhineland and Central Germany Campaigns, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, and the United Nations Service Medal.

As a civilian, Wiggins joined the Alabama State Employment Service in the Andalusia office as an interviewer in 1947. He was promoted to office manager, a position he held for 10 years. In 1967, he became the field supervisor for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area Employment Service and started the state’s first job bank. In 1971, he became the assistant director for the State Employment Service and was appointed chief of field operations in 1973. He retired after 33 years of service to the State of Alabama in 1978.

Wiggins always said, “the best day’s work of my life was marrying” the former Helen Wells on Jan. 3, 1942. They were married 52 years until her death in 1994. They had two children, Sarah Anne “Sally” Perrett and Susan Wells Murphy.

Wiggins served in the First Baptist Church of Andalusia as a deacon. He sang as a tenor with the choir from 1953 until 2003. He was a member of the Lions Club, president of the Andalusia Country Club and member of its board of directors. He was the president of the local American Association of Retired Persons.

After moving to Mount Royal in Birmingham in 2005, he served as president of the board of directors there for two years and enjoyed leading the music at Sunday worship there.

He is survived by his two daughters, Sarah Anne “Sally” Perrett and Susan Wells Murphy; their spouses, William Bradshaw Perrett and Michael Thomas Murphy; seven grandchildren, Maria Perrett Leonard, Patricia Perrett Moore, Dr. William Brad Perrett, Lt. Commander Morgan Wells Wiggins Murphy, Marissa Murphy Loper, Lauren Murphy Ward and Meredith Murphy McLemore; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Those unable to attend the services may sign the guest registry online at



Inez P. Rabren, 95, of Magnolia Springs, died Thurs., Dec. 15, 2011, at her residence. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Sat., Dec. 17, at Adellum Baptist Church with Foreman Brown-Service Funeral Home directing. Interment will follow at Adellum Cemetery.

Visitation will be at Adellum Baptist Church 30 minutes prior to the service.

She is survived by a daughter, Judy Rabren of Robertsdale; a son, Michael Rabren of Magnolia Springs; two grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Lewis Palmer and Elige Palmer of Pensacola, Fla.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Adellum Baptist Church.



Mary Helen Mitchell, 69, of Red Level, died Tues., Dec. 13, 2011, at her residence.

Funeral services were held Thurs., Dec. 15, at the South Church of God in Red Level with the Rev. Kenneth Mitchell and the Rev. Carl Turman officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Survivors include her husband, Thomas Mitchell; son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Janice Mitchell, all of Red Level; her daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Mark Watley of Columbus, Ga.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; and her mother, Avis Stroud of Andalusia.

She is preceded in death by her son, James Kevin Mitchell; her father, Jack Stroud; and brother, Richard Stroud.

Pallbearers were Stephen Mtichell, James Stroud, Darrel Beverly, Brandon Watley and Ronnie Wallace.

Those unable to attend the services may sign the guest registry online at