Long time carnival industry veteran, Willie Wiggins, 70, passed away on March 25, 2019 at a care facility in Elgin, Illinois. Willie was a long time employee of Chicago based Astro Amusement Company, and later NAME.
He was born on November 5, 1948 in Sylvania, GA the 6th child of Moses and Florence Wiggins. Willie was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elgin.
He worked for Graefen Amusements in his late teens, and in the summer of 1973, Steve Thebault purchased Graefen Amusements and named the new company Astro Amusement. "Uncle Willie" as he was known continued to work for Steve from 1973 -2004 until Astro was purchased by North American Midway Entertainment; Willie continued to work for North American Midway Entertainment until 2018. Willie mentored many in the carnival industry with his expansive knowledge. He was also an entrepreneur in the carnival industry owning his own rides, novelty, and game concessions. He was a loyal, hard-working man, dedicated employee and cherished friend.
He is survived by his siblings: Parnell (Arlene), Thomas (Elnor), Ralph, and Jessie; nephew Lee Ward (Martha); great nieces: Desiree and Kathy; a host of family. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife of 25 years Karen Wiggins; siblings: Joe, John, Ida, Rose and Frank and extended family.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 10:00 AM in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1250 Parkview Dr., Elgin. Burial will follow at Windridge Memorial Park, in Cary. Visitation will be held on Friday, March 29, 2019 from 4-9 PM in the Laird Funeral Home, 310 S. State St., Elgin and on Saturday morning in the church from 9:00 AM until the time of services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1250 Parkview Dr., Elgin or Rainbow Hospice, PO BOX 74008825, Chicago, IL 60674 or www.RainbowHospice.org. For information 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com.