A LIFE Story: Lucille Wiggins at 100

Lucille Wiggins is the only daughter of Steven and Mary (Bennekin) Wiggins. She was born to parents from Pineville and Cross, South Carolina, both in Berkeley County.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina on April 28, 1918, Lucille was without either parent as a child coming of age. Shortly after her birth both of her parents died and she was raised by her grandfather, Willie Bennekin. She was raised and educated in Berkeley County Schools. Lucille grew up in a family of farmers, so she learned the value of hard work and obedience to her caregivers; so much so that during the midst of her seventh grade years, she was forced to discontinue her formal education to help full-time on the farm. From that point on, Lucille matriculated through the school of life and learned from the wisdom of her forefathers. Her experiences growing up in a Christ-centered household made her the person that she is today.

In 1935, she met a dapper young man affectionately known as “Guster”, from Cross, South Carolina. She married her first love, Isaac Collins. With their union nurtured by Ma Rosie, they produced nine Collins children: Mary “Trick”, Elizabeth “Norlee”, Louis—decreased, Ruthie—deceased, Jeanette, Onetha “Nita”, Isaac “Brother”, Rose Marie “Ree”, and Bernice “Bernie”. During the growth of his family, Isaac moved on to Charleston to find adequate provisions for his wife and children. In 1940, the family at that time moved to Charleston to find a better life. Living in the Accabee section of Charleston Heights, they joined Jerusalem Baptist Church. To this day Jerusalem holds a great tradition of the Collins family. On March 20, 1964 she lost her partner in love, Isaac.

In 1974, Lucille was blessed with another companion, Cleveland “Dec” Gaines. To their family, Dec’s daughter and son-in-law, Jessie Mae and Walter, were added. With twenty plus years of loving companionship, Dec preceded her in death.

Today, Lucille lives contently in North Charleston surrounded by her son, daughters, a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great- grandchildren and many, loving family, friends, and other love ones. She’s active in her neighborhood, her church and was active with the Charleston County Senior Citizens Program as a foster grandmother. She’s still doing what she does best: Influencing and enriching the lives of the people around her. She never met a friend or a person she didn’t like. Her favorite saying in the midst of it all is……

Be Lovin’  Be Lovin’  Be Lovin’

Lucille Wiggins

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