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Ralph H. ‘Diggin’ Wiggin

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Ralph H. ‘Diggin’ Wiggin
Ralph H. ‘Diggin’ Wiggin

POLSON - Ralph H. "Diggin" Wiggin, age 87, of Polson, passed away from natural causes Tuesday March 6, 2007, at St. Luke Extended Care Facility in Ronan. He was born in Harlem on Dec. 14, 1919, to Andrew and Esther Wiggin, the oldest of six children.

After Ralph was born, his family moved to his parents' homestead near Zurich. They later moved to Charlo and then moved to Pablo where his father, Andy Wiggin, worked for the reclamation project running dragline.

There in Pablo is where his parents built a home and all his siblings were born. They had a milk cow, chickens and a large garden. Ralph attended school through the eighth grade in Pablo, and then he went on to Ronan High School graduating with the class of 1937.

Ralph later met the love of his life, Korrine Wigen, at a county dance. Ralph and Korrine were married Sept. 1, 1941. They soon settled in Polson and Ralph was the auto body repairman for the Dodge and Plymouth garage then later for Tower and Robinson GMC Pontiac. He became known as the best in the business. Right before the war, Ralph worked as a drag saw operator for Rauthers Tie Mill near the Flathead Mines.

In 1944, he joined the Army, and was sent to Europe as an infantryman. Ralph served in the 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division, Company B under General George Patton. He saw action in the Battle of the Bulge, Rhine River and Argon Forest across France, Germany and Austria. During his service in the Army, Ralph was awarded the Bronze Star. At war's end, he was stationed in Munich, with the RTO, running the rail system.

Ralph was discharged in 1946 and returned to home in Polson. He went into business for himself, in 1956, and was known as Diggin Wiggin.

Later, he and Korrine built a new home in the Mountain View area and they raised cattle, put up hay and all that goes along with a small farm. He served with the Red Cross during the Gulf War. Ralph was American Legion commander three times and district commander for one year. He was a member of Hardwick Post No. 112 for more than 50 years. Ralph also enjoyed his membership with the IOOF.

He loved to fish and hunt, watch his cows, his dog "Blue," and playing cards with his friends. He also loved the family gatherings with the children and grandchildren all attending.

His wife Korrine; his parents; his sisters, Blanche, June, Hazel and Alice; and a brother, John, preceded Ralph in death.

Surviving Ralph include his sons, Tom of Kalispell and Ernie (Sherree) of Polson; daughter Janice (Dave) Tromp of Missoula; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held for Ralph on Sunday, March 11, from noon until 5 p.m. in the Grogan Funeral Home. Funeral service will be on Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Polson with the Rev. Rudy Ringhoff officiating. Interment will follow the services at Lakeview Cemetery with full military honors. A reception will follow the services at the First Baptist Church Hall.

The family is suggesting memorials in Ralph's name to either the American Legion or to the Polson Veteran Honor Guard.

The Ralph Wiggin family would like to graciously thank the staff at St. Luke Extended Care Facility for their loving care for Ralph.

Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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