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Avah "Snooks" Gene Wiggins

March 25, 1921 March 27, 2012
Avah "Snooks" Gene Wiggins
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Obituary for Avah "Snooks" Gene Wiggins

Avah Gene Wiggins, known to family and friends as Snooks, passed away in Brookings on March 27, 2012. She is survived by her son, Patrick Porter and brother, Elmo Williams. Avah Gene was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Burch and Afton, sister Willa Bea, and husband Curly Wiggins. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the Capella-by-The-Sea. Snooks was born to Audra and Oscar Williams on the family homestead in Capulin, New Mexico, on March 25, 1921. She was the youngest of five children. Our parents separated when she was three and relatives took Mother and us children to Quanah, Texas, to live with our grandmother. This was the first of many moves during Snooks’ early years. In 1926 Mother opened a restaurant in the small town of Cement, Oklahoma and then later in Oklahoma City. Papa died in 1926 and mother in 1931. Avah Gene, the three brothers, and our older sister tried to remain a family during the Great Depression that followed the 1929 stock market crash. By 1932 it was evident that we five kids would have to scratch individually. After living with several family members, Snooks was adopted by a farm family when she was nine. She reunited with Willa Bea and her husband for a short time and then moved in with family friends named Connie and Pat Harder. In 1939 Snooks graduated from high school and moved to California to live in an apartment with me. She got a job at J.J. Newberry’s in Hollywood, where she met Harold Porter. The married in 1940 and in 1941 she gave birth to her only son, Patrick Steven Porter. In 1947 she divorced. She and Patrick lived with my wife, Lorraine and I, and she got a job with the Howard Zink Corporation. In 1952 Snooks moved to Deming, New Mexico, to live with our brother Afton and run a drive-in restaurant. During the filming of The Cowboy in New Mexico, she met Curly Wiggins. They married in 1953 and moved back to Los Angeles. Snooks worked at our brother Burch’s film library, at Technicolor, and finally for Curly’s entertainment booking agency until his death. In 1988 she moved to Brookings to be near my wife, Lorraine and I. She bought her first new house on Velopa Court and was soon followed by our sister Willa Bea. She loved the people in Brookings and was soon volunteering in the town’s activities. She gave liberally of her spare time to the Azalea Park and the Senior Center. She was well known for feeding crows with her friend Betty Jean Waite. In 1983 she wrote her story. In retelling the story of her man moves she wrote, “I had many homes as a youngster, but I was always blessed for each was a good home and I was loved.” As a big brother, I shared a lot of her life. As a testament of her good character, I witnessed the many major adjustments she made. Through it all she remained a sweet, generous, loveable human being. Rest In Peace. Elmo

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