Wilma Heggaton, Mother of 2, Taught Home Economics in Birch Run Schools, Led Scout Troops

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Wilma Jeanne Heggaton, 85, of Saline, Michigan passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 19, 2023 with her children by her side. Wilma was born March 22, 1937 to the late Marion Lewis Woodford and Melva Leota (Strouse) Woodford.

On March 16, 1963 she married the late John Stuart Heggaton. Wilma is survived by her two children, Jeanne (Brian) Krauss of Little Chute, Wisconsin and James “Jim” Stuart Heggaton of Saline; two grandchildren Erik and Elaina Krauss. She is also survived by siblings Warren (Mary deceased) (Rosanne deceased) Woodford and Mary Kay (William) Dubey; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Wanda (surviving spouse Ronald) Vantol.

Wilma was born in Perrinton, Michigan, raised in Bay City, and graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in Home Economics Teaching. During her childhood she developed a lifelong love of music, learning to play the piano and clarinet. Her favorite toys were her dolls; making clothing for them which helped her to develop a lifelong love of sewing and crafts.

Before marrying, she taught home economics at the high school level at Birch Run area schools. While there she was introduced to John by her cousin Martha. She married and was together with John just shy of 50 years. They settled in Flint, Michigan and raised their children. Wilma was a warm and loving person who made friends everywhere she lived. As an involved and loving mother, Wilma was a Cub Scout Leader, a Brownie Troop Leader, school lunch mother, and school volunteer for her children. As her children matured, she chose to return to teaching as a substitute in Flint and later in the Negaunee area. Wilma always enjoyed travel and the family camped in their pop-up camper throughout Michigan and parts of the United States for many years.

After John’s retirement from teaching, they moved to the U.P. and made a home between Negaunee and Gwinn, Michigan. They joyfully greeted frequent visits by son Jim, daughter Jeanne and her family from Wisconsin as well as other relatives. While there, she continued to substitute teach and was active in the United Methodist Church and senior center in Gwinn. In later years, to avoid the snow and cold of the U.P., John and Wilma would spend winters with their son in Saline (sometimes arriving without warning).

The summer after John passed (February 2012), she moved to Saline permanently to be closer to her son and within driving distance of her family in and near Bay City. Wilma loved her grandchildren and spent time with them whenever possible. She adopted Evelyn, Robert, and James Gill as her church grandchildren.

Wilma enjoyed working with the crafting and exercise groups at the Saline Senior Center where she also refreshed her piano skills by taking a keyboard class. Wilma enjoyed all things crafting; she sewed quilts and clothing, enjoyed crocheting, and working with plastic canvas. As an adult, she made clothing, dolls, and stuffed animals for many of the children in her life. Throughout her life she was an avid reader who enjoyed mysteries and historical novels; often going to and returning from the local library with a bag full of books. She also enjoyed solving crossword and later Sudoku puzzles. Wilma was an active member of the JOY and quilting groups at church. She was a frequent volunteer at church events. Wilma loved helping in the church kitchen, working at many church event meals; in later years advising from her throne in the kitchen. Wilma was a well loved and respected member of the United Methodist Church of Saline. She will be remembered and missed by all who knew her.

Friends may join the family for a time of visitation on Friday, January 27, 2023 from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon at the First United Methodist Church of Saline. Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 Noon with Pastor Amy Triebwasser officiating. A luncheon will follow the service and will be held at the church. Burial will take place privately and will be held in the Negaunee Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Wilma’s name may be made to the Church, the American Heart Association, or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; envelopes will be available at the Church. To leave a memory you have of Wilma, to sign her guestbook, or for more information please visit www.rbfhsaline.com.

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