Marie's Story

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Marie Rose (Smith) Wigton, age 96, wife of 75 years to Kenneth J. Wigton, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Cedar. Marie was born on a farm in Capac on June 13, 1921 to the late Albert and Mayme (Phalen) Smith. Marie had three older brothers and one younger. After her father lost the farm during the great depression, her family moved to a 1,000 acre farm near Rochester, that her dad had consolidated for Charles Fisher of Fisher Body. It was there in a one room schoolhouse that she met the young man she would eventually marry and cherish for 75 years. She was constantly at his side, loving and generously supporting him with her untiring assistance. After her marriage on May 15, 1942 to Kenneth Wigton (who survives) together they raised eight children in a historic 100 year old home in Rochester.
Marie had a great interest and love of everything to do with words, poetry, history, music and literature. As a nurturing mother and brilliant teacher, she always found the best of books to read to her children; books that would instill positive values and morals and would allow them to blossom into the children of God they were intended to be. Still to this day, we find notes, poems, and letters she had saved tucked inside some of her books. Her ministry to her eight children, 39 grandchildren, and 41 great-grandchildren continued throughout the years as she always provided them with gifts and wisdom that would encourage, teach, and edify.
Marie's entire life reflected her growing submission to her master and savior Jesus. Despite her last years being spent with the progression of Alzheimer's, she continued to teach us the importance of the fruits of the Spirit, especially of patience and long-suffering. With that posture, her life and her actions exemplified for all of us what real love looks like. She now leaves us a legacy, a life well lived, one to emulate. Today we rejoice with her as she lives forever with the one who made heaven possible for all of us.
With an attitude of dedication to those God placed in her path, her life was a selfless mission of laying down her life, recognizing Jesus' words: "whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me." There was never a person she could not befriend. She had a charisma about her that was endearing to all. As a wonderful conversationalist and humorous storyteller, her keen wit and wisdom was both amazing and amusing.
In addition to her husband, Marie is survived by her children, David (Margaret), Douglas (Janice), Bruce (Sandra), Ellen (Cristobal) Pina, Thomas (Joan), Jeanne (John) Dunnett, Mary (Ray Anderson) Wigton, and Ann (Thomas) Lovett; 38 grandchildren, and 41 great-grandchildren.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Mayme (Phalen) Smith; brothers, Michael P., Albert J. "Jack", Joseph E., O. William Smith; and one grandchild, Clare Katherine Lovett.
Visitation for Marie will take place at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home on Sunday, Jan. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. Also on Sunday, visitation will occur at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Cedar from 5 to 8 p.m. with a vigil and rosary at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass to celebrate Marie's life will take place on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. Fathers Matthew and Peter Wigton will concelebrate.
For those wishing to give a gift in memory of Marie, contributions may be directed to Holy Rosary Catholic Church or Society of St. Vincent DePaul, 1207 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City, MI 49686.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on January 6, 2018
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