Lorena Wiggins Turn 100

Lorena Wiggins

The family of Lorena Wiggins held a 100th birthday celebration recently inside the Ramada Inn Ballroom on Baymeadows Road. The event hall was overflowing for the Lilly, Georgia. Bearing seven children and with an 8th grade education, Wiggins was determined to make a way for her family. Crossing the Florida/Georgia county line, Wiggins arrived in Jacksonville in 1950 and resided on the Southside.  Once she gathered her Christian thoughts, she began a twenty-year tenure as a waitress at the Old South Restaurant on Beach Blvd. In the evenings to keep her family clothed and in educational activities, Wiggins worked as a domestic for prominent families in the area that still reach out to her today. Pinching pennies, she would sometimes walk the two miles to and from her work destinations.  For 73 years, she has been a member of St. Nicholas Bethel Baptist church, where she is heralded as the mother of the church.


Wiggins still answers her phone on the first ring, “I never drank, I worked, went to church and took care of my family. I’m satisfied with my home and that the good Lord looked after me. I am well with my soul,” she said smiling through the phone. Retiring in 1991, Wiggins words of wisdom and advice to people today is to act nice, be mannerable, treat people with respect and know that God is the way to living a long healthy and wealthy life

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