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Margaret E. ‘Maggie’ Wiggins, Social Security Administration executive and active church member, dies

Margaret E. "Maggie" Wiggins was a longtime member of St. James Episcopal Church.
Margaret E. "Maggie" Wiggins was a longtime member of St. James Episcopal Church.

Margaret E. “Maggie” Wiggins, a retired longtime Social Security Administration executive and an active member of historic St. James Episcopal Church in West Baltimore, died of cancer Oct. 16 at a sister’s home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. The Windsor Mill resident was 89.

“I’ve known her more than 40 years, and we were both division directors at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn,” said Bobbie Swann, a Randallstown resident. “She was an excellent manager, had integrity and was very thorough, and she was compassionate when it came to dealing with people. She was just an excellent manager.”

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Margaret Elizabeth Wiggins, the daughter of Henry W. Wiggins, a chauffeur and maintenance man, and his wife, Janie Maxwell Wiggins, was born and raised in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, one of nine children.

“Her upbringing in a small town in central Pennsylvania was molded not only by her family’s love and support, but also by expectations that valued hard work, educational achievement and excellence, despite barriers posed by racial segregation and discrimination,” according to a biographical profile submitted by her family.

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After graduating with honors in 1949 from Clearfield High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1953 from Howard University in Washington and obtained a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University in State College.

In the mid-1950s, she began working for the SSA in Philadelphia and by the late 1950s transferred to Baltimore, where she worked downtown in the Candler Building as a policy management specialist in the Office of Research and Statistics. She moved to Woodlawn when the SSA opened its headquarters building there in 1960.

Ms. Wiggins was named deputy director of the Office of International Operations, which involved traveling throughout Europe and Asia. Her leadership abilities led to her selection for postgraduate studies at Stanford University.

“We met through a mutual friend when we were working at the Social Security Administration and have been close friends for more than 45 years. She really was a very dear friend,” said Alma B. Jackson, who lives in Pikesville. “She was both a good leader and administrator, and people liked working for her.”

Ms. Wiggins retired in 1994.

She was a lifelong member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was inducted into the Alpha Chapter while a student at Howard. She later became a valued and longtime member of the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter.

“An ardent and committed volunteer who was generous with her time and support, Margaret received recognition for her dedication and service to Delta Sigma Theta and the community from the City Council of Baltimore in 2014,” according to the family profile. “In 2018, Delta Sigma Theta also honored her with a Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding generosity and invaluable support.”

“She pledged and sponsored me into the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta,” Ms. Swann said. “She was a very special woman who was both accomplished and very smart."

Ms. Wiggins was a longtime active communicant of St. James Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, where she supported its many programs and activities. She was an officer of the church and participated in many committees, such as the St. Agnes Guild.

“She was a strong and ardent supporter of all of its programs and gave her time and money to St. James,” said a sister, Sarah W. Mitchell of Elkins Park.

“She liked to travel and attend the theater,” Ms. Jackson said.

“I had a luncheon group that met in my home once a year that was called the Sister Sister Group, and we met from 2006 to 2007,” Ms. Swann said. “They were all high-spirited and so was Maggie. We all really enjoyed one another.”

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“Margaret will be deeply missed by her family and friends,” according to the profile. “We will miss her elegance, her intellect, her interest in and generous support of friends, family, church and community. But most all we will miss having her in our lives.”

Plans for a memorial service for Ms. Wiggins to be held at St. James are incomplete because of the pandemic.

In addition to her sister, she is survived by a brother, Dr. Henry W. Wiggins Jr. of Chicago; three other sisters, Anna Wiggins and Mary Jane Wiggins, both of Elkins Park, and Elizabeth Graves of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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