Believed to be one of the oldest residents of East Providence, if not the oldest currently living in the city, Mary Wiggins, a resident of the Lynn Healthcare Center in the center of the city, recently celebrated a birthday as she turned an almost unfathomable 108 years old.
Ms. Wiggins, born May 12, 1904, remains as coherent as possible for someone of her advanced age. According to her only child, city native and resident Dolores Bliss, she “talks to us some days, and some days she doesn’t.” Health-wise, again, Ms. Wiggins is doing as well as could be expected. She takes only two pills a day, one for her blood pressure and an aspirin.
Originally from Maryland, Ms. Wiggins was a phlebotomist at the famed Johns Hopkins University Hospital before migrating to Rhode Island where she eventually embarked on a career in the culinary field. For several years, she was a chef at the Sakonnet Country Club in Little Compton. She also worked for a quarter century on Nantucket Island at the Sankaty Beach Club. According to Mrs. Bliss, her mother has resided in the area for the better part of 90 years.
Ms. Wiggins, remarkably, lived on her own until the age of 100. Her family, concerned for her safety, finally conviced her to move into an assisted living facility eight years ago. “She loved to cook so much. She was always wanting to cook for us, we were worried about the stove catching fire,” Mrs. Bliss said.
Ms. Wiggins has nine great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild is one the way with an expected due date in December.