BY Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
In Spencer Township and the surrounding area, Pearly Mae Wiggins is known for her charitable work. Besides being an active member of her church and volunteering for countless causes, including being one of the original volunteers of the Spencer Township Fire Department. Ms. Wiggins saved the lives of little children by being a foster mother to over 30 children, most of her adult life.
On Saturday, March 27, at her home in Spencer Township, some of those foster children, who are known as “Her children,” honored Ms. Wiggins with a surprise birthday party. Family and friends first drove up to her home in a “car parade,” honking and yelling happy birthday. Then, they parked and exited their vehicles, wearing face masks, and presented the birthday girl, whose birthday is on April 5, with flowers and presents.
Suzette Overton, daughter, who spearheaded the party, traveled from North Carolina to, “Give my mom her flowers while she’s still alive.”
“She treated us no different than her own children,” Ms. Overton said. “Whenever I have a problem or need someone to talk to, she is the first person I call.”
Ms. Overton and her sister were raised by Ms. Wiggins since the age of nine.
“Mom would always tell me, ‘God doesn’t put more on you than you can handle’; I always remember that during times of struggle,” Ms. Overton said.
Mary Wiggins Terrell, daughter, said, “My mom has been a pillar of the community for 72 years. But for her to make it to 90 years old, which is a milestone, definitely is a cause for celebration. Her love for all her children is what causes us to still be in her life.”
“She’s our mom. Me and my two other siblings were the first foster children she took in and raised. We were never treated any different than her children; for that, I’m thankful and love her very much,” said Ulonda Sutton.
Rodney Taylor began experiencing the love from his mom at the age of six.
“She gave me a lot of love. She gave me the foundation of what being a man is. She took me to church and instilled God into my life. For all those things and ones I didn’t mention, is why I love her and she deserving of this day,” he expressed.
“Pearly is my sister,” said her friend of many years, Mattie Taylor. “She’s a wonderful person; loving, kind and always helpful.”
Pearly Wiggins offered advice for a long and active life; “Mind your own business and trust in God.”