Obituary for Jiggs Wingo
Viewing will be held 4 - 8 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the funeral home (6934 S. Western Ave) with the family greeting friends from 5 - 7 pm.
Services to celebrate his life will be 11:00 am Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Southern Hills Church of God (1029 W. I-240 Service Rd, OKC, OK)
John McClellan Wingo Jr. was born April 3, 1924 near Stonewall, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. He was the son of John McClellan Wingo Sr. and Rebecca Ann Sellers-Wingo. The Wingo Family had moved to the Chickasaw Nation in 1903 after the death of John McClellan Wingo Sr. father, George Washington Wingo, near Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. The family came to the area of present day Pontotoc County to work on the Bruno Mayer Ranch. The Wingo’s were of Cherokee and Shawnee Indian ancestry and descended from the bloodline of Cherokee Chief Moytoy of the Wolf Clan.
John McClellan Wingo Sr. family lived in the area and worked on the Bruno Mayer Ranch until 1926 when Bruno died. The Wingo family then moved to the area of Kiowa, Oklahoma along the boundary of Atoka and Pittsburg Counties where they lived in the Jack Fork Mountains, Harpers Valley and the Reynold’s area. When John McClellan Wingo Jr. was three years old his uncle, Ben Lancaster, gave him some moonshine whiskey and told him to dance a jig (a lively dance) for him, which he did, his uncle then renamed him “Jiggs” which became his name the rest of this life.
Jiggs had eleven brothers and sisters including Effie Wingo, Luara Wingo, Ellen Wingo, Jewel Marie Wingo, Claude Wingo, Eula Mae Wingo, Willie Lee Wingo, Robert Leroy Wingo, Reba Faye Wingo, Champ Wingo and Glen Ray Wingo. Jiggs grew up in the hills and mountains around Kiowa, Oklahoma and was well known by all in the area. He and his brothers were excellent at hunting, trapping, and fishing proving food for the table and money for the family by selling they fur’s. The Wingo boys were also expert horsemen and very adept at roping, breaking and shoeing some of the most rank horses that even older men would not try to handle. When World War II began, Jiggs’ older brother Claude Washington Wingo, entered military service in the U.S Army, Jiggs continued to live at home and help with the family until February 16, 1944 when he entered active military service in the U.S. Navy. Jiggs served in the U.S. Navy through World War II and was Honorably Discharged in 1948 having served in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific Theaters of War completing 27 trips around the world. Jiggs had served on three ships during the World War II including the US Naval Ship General M.L Hersey, US Naval Ship General C.C. Belew and the US Naval Ship LeJune AP74, of the aforementioned ships he said the most memorable was the USS LeJune AP 74 which was a Nazi German Sea Raider and support vessel for the German Battleship Graf Spee that had been captured in Brazil in December 1939 and sold to the U.S Government in May of 1942. The ship had originally been launched as the S.S. Windhuk out of Hamburg, Germany. The S.S. Windhuk was refitted and recommissioned the U.S.S. LeJune AP74 on May 12, 1944 and carried 4,460 troops in support of the Normandy (D-Day) Invasion of France.
After Jiggs was discharged from military service in 1948 he returned to Kiowa, Oklahoma where he took up cattle raising, trapping, worked for MK&T Railroad for a while and remained in the U.S. Naval Reserve. On June 4, 1948 he married Opal Rush Cash and from that union they had three children including Larry DeWayne Wingo, Janet Ruth Wingo and Paul Edward Wingo. Jiggs was recalled to active naval service during the Korean Was and was stationed at Seoul, Korea and was Honorably Discharged on May 21, 1951. Jiggs returned to Kiowa, Oklahoma after being discharged from his service in Korea and lived there for a short while before moving his family to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma do he could attend barber college as he had been a ship’s barber during his military service. Jiggs completed barber college and worked in several barber shops around the Oklahoma City area until about 1960 when he was able to open his own barber and hair styling shop in the Town of Nichols Hills, Oklahoma which was located on the far North edge of Oklahoma City at the time.
Jiggs and Ruth divorced in December of1965 and he remarried to Paula Higginbotham-Keener on July 4, 1969. Paula had four children from a previous marriage being Jimmy Keener, Pam Keener, Trinette Keener and Cindy Keener. Jiggs moved his family from the Oklahoma City area to the Harrah/Newalla, Oklahoma area in 1971 where they lived until September of 1991 when he and Paula moved to the Southwest portion of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Jiggs had a barber shop in Harrah, Oklahoma and then had moved to the nearby, Newalla, Oklahoma area where he owned the Country Barber Shop until 2013 when he sold it and bought another barber shop closer to where he lived in Oklahoma City. Jiggs retired from being a barber on his birthday, at age 90, in 2014 having been a barber for 70 years. Jiggs’ health had steadily declined over the past three years and he went to be with his Lord Jesus on the morning of October 7, 2017. Jiggs is survived by his wife Paula Wingo of the home, Larry and Beri Wingo of Yukon, Oklahoma, Janet and Stanley Price of Haughton, Louisiana, Paul Wingo or Norwalk, Connecticut, Jimmy and Debbie Keener of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Pam and Mike Caraway of Moore, Oklahama, Trinette and Lynn Johnson of Mesa, Arizona, Cindy and David Watkins of Fort Mills, South Carolina, 30 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren.
Services will be officiated by Pastor James Jones at the Southern Hills Church of God located at 1029 W. I-240 Service Rd)