Charlie was the fifth child of six children born to Frank and Bertie Wiggs.
She was born at her Aunt Cleo’s home in Center Hill, Arkansas.
She was named after her aunt Charlie May.
Her mother told her she was so small she could have fit into a shoebox.
According to her baby book, her first real sentence was “Ain’t that pretty?”
Charlie’s parents were hard working farmers that worked in the fields everyday.
At five years old she took care of her baby brother, Stan, while the rest of the family worked the farm.
Later, she and Stan would play in the fields making “frog houses.”
A special treat was to go into town to Newberry’s and have a coke at the counter.
Life was hard in those early years, but the children learned discipline and respect and to appreciate life.
They often lived in a one room house, and dinner was cornbread and beans.
Her early life shaped her into the wonderful woman she would later become.
She married her high school sweetheart, Darrell Moquist, and together they had two beautiful daughters, Kim Liann and Lisa Marie.
Although they later divorced, they remained friends through the years.
In 1978 she met her future husband and lifetime love, Gary Wisben in San Bernardino, CA.
Gary and his beautiful daughter, Joy, made this family complete.
In 1980, Charlie and Gary decided to find a new town to raise their girls.
So, they sold their homes and business, all the furniture and anything else that wouldn’t fit into their pickup and went looking for a home.
They said they would know their new town when they hit the city limits.
Well, they drove all the way to Seattle and never found the perfect town.
Her brother Joe told her that Spokane might be the place for them.
As they drove down Sunset Hill for the first time and laid eyes on Spokane, they said “This is it.”
They bought their rock house on Valleyway the next day.
Two weeks later, Mt.
St. Helen’s exploded.
The “Rock House” years saw the girls grow, make lifetime friends, and all graduate from CV.
Charlie opened the first acrylic nail salon, “Thumbs Up” in mid 1980 and was featured on television.
It was at this time she met her lifetime friends, Jan Ryan and Debra Wilde.
After nearly a five year courtship, Gary finally proposed and the two of them eloped, telling no one of their plans.
They married in Port Townsend on September 17, 1982.
Gary and Charlie bought the world’s greatest fixer upper on the shores of Newman Lake in 1989.
It had been vacant 19 years.
Together, room by room, they transformed it into such a lovely home.
They even entered the Better Homes and Gardens remodeling contest and won the “Whole House” category.
Charlie was an incredible artist.
She could paint anything, and often did.
She was an accomplished landscape artist and later perfected her talent in room sized murals.
She started her own painting business, “Paintin’ The Town.”
Her eye for color and design were superb, and many of Spokane’s finer homes feature her work.
Charlie began making floorcloths, fabulous works of art for the floor.
A fortunate few have these in their homes today.
Charlie’s incredible talent was featured in an article in the Spokesman Review on April 11, 2003.
Charlie worked for several years at the Millwood branch of Spokane Media Credit Union where she made so many wonderful friends.
Charlie loved to golf, and her favorite course was The Links in Post Falls.
It was there she met such wonderful friends, especially Patti Marquis.
Charlie was running the kitchen at the Links when she was first diagnosed with cancer last year.
The Links held a tournament in Charlie’s honor “Pink Up For Charlie” last June.
In her honor the kitchen has been named “Charlie’s Kitchen.”
Charlie is preceded in death by her parents; brother, Sherman; Aunt Cleo; cousin, Charlie May; and dear friend, Amy Swan.
Charlie and Gary loved to travel and enjoyed vacations in Hawaii, Italy, and Belize.
They also loved river float trips and experienced the Snake, Salmon, and of course the Spokane River.
Her favorite things to do were to go “junkin” at the local thrift stores and yard sales looking for treasures, dancing to country and blues, working in her flower gardens, and making crepes for all her “dumplins.”
Charlie leaves behind her husband, Gary; daughters Kim (Cory) Whalen, Lisa (John Toler) Beers, Joy (Matt) Arch; and “adopted” daughters Kaelyn and Lynn of Huntington Beach, CA.
Seven grandchildren, Macee, Emily, Jake, Max, Lily, Jack and Colby.
They will always love their “Gramcracker”.
Brothers, Joe (Sandra) Wiggs, Billy (Natalia) Wiggs, Stan (Karon) Wiggs, sister, Evelyn (Frank) Neal; mother-in-law, Marian Wisben; sister-in-law, Nancy (Lloyd) Moore; and so many nieces, nephews and cousins she loved so very much.
She loved her family so.
Thanks to all of her family that sent so much support and love our way.
You are awesome.
Thank you to all of her special friends that sent love and support this past year.
Special thanks also to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and Hospice of Spokane.
You gave her so much comfort and care.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held Sunday, June 9, 2013, at 2:00 PM, at the New Hope Christian Center, 1108 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley.
Charlie was beautiful both inside and out.
She was an angel on earth.
She is free now of this terrible struggle.
She was so very brave.
You were “tough as a pine cone”.
We are so proud of you, Charlie.
Now be pain free in heaven.
Dance with Bertie and Amy.
We will see you in every sunset, rainbow, and hummingbird.
We will miss you forever.
Community Cremation and Funeral Spokane Valley 13127 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, WA 99216 509-926-2020 www.CommunityCremationandFuneral.com
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