Suwannee Democrat

December 10, 2012

Wiggins retires after 32 years

Andrew McGee
Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak — John Wiggins of Farm Bureau Insurance is officially retiring on Dec. 31 after 32 years.

Wiggins, who manages the Farm Bureau Insurance offices in Live Oak, Jasper and Branford, was born and raised in downtown White Springs in Hamilton County. Growing up, he had a passion for sports, baseball and softball and went on to play for many years and be part of several softball leagues including the Army. Another passion he has is in the Lord. He’s been involved with the church for as long as he can remember. After high school, he went to Jones College in Jacksonville for two years then went on to work at the First National Bank in Lake City. From there, Wiggins spent two years in the service. He joined the US Army and was stationed in Korea for 16 months. When he returned, he got a job at the First National Bank of Live Oak which is now Bank of America. He remained there for 20 years. He got married in May of 1960.

How did a career in banking turn into a career of insurance?

“I was talking to Len Gill and he said that they needed someone and asked me if I would be interested,” said Wiggins. “I looked at all the pluses and minuses and thought it would be a good deal.”

Wiggins said that one day he was at the bank and the next he was at The Farm Bureau.   

He mentioned that any new job is going to have it’s learning period, but that Farm Bureau had a really good training program, so he fit right in.

Wiggins described his position as most in insurance as being self-employed, an independent contractor.

“I do not have any employees per se,” said Wiggins. “The Farm Bureau has a couple of secretaries.”

One person who’s known Wiggins for several years spoke very highly of him.

“I’ve known him over 21 years,” said Paulette Buchanan. “He’s a really good man, a good boss.”

Buchanan even said that she had never seen Wiggins get mad or raise his voice.

Wanda O’Neal has known Wiggins since 1965 and worked with him since 2003.

“It’s been awesome,” said O’Neal. “He offered me a job when I needed it. A very good man and good boss.”

O’Neal said that she’s going to miss him being there. She said that he’s been a good example of a Godly man, that by his example, she has learned so much.

“I’m very fortunate,” said O’Neal. “I was very blessed and he’s earned his retirement.”

Wiggins has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Live Oak since 1974. He has been a member of the Lions Club since 1957.

“I plan to do some volunteer work after I retire with Love INC,” said Wiggins. “I have twin daughters who grew up with Lisa.”
Lisa Kriehn is the executive director of Love INC. Love INC is a local ministry that have had their hand in helping others and have been directly involved in numerous fundraisers.

Wiggins will also have more time to spend with his wife of 52 years, Elinor and his three children, five grandchildren and three great-grand children.

There will be a retirement reception in honor of John Wiggins on Dec. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church fellowship hall in Live Oak.