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Sandra Wiggins


1942 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Sandra Wiggins Obituary
Sandra Wiggins was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Roswell on May 6, 1942, to Ruthelle and Bill Wiggins. She attended school at Washington Avenue, North Junior High and Roswell High, graduating in 1960. She also attended Lubbock Christian College for two years.
Sandra married Bill Bracey, who was stationed at Walker Air Force Base. Their son Jeff Bracey was born in 1964. They moved to Portales and after six years, Bill and Sandra were divorced.
Sandra moved with her son to Albuquerque, where she worked for the Bernalillo County Mental Health Center for many years. While working there, she met Mike Hickey, a psychiatrist at the mental health center. They were married and moved to Alamogordo, where he had a private practice.
Sandra and Mike built a house in La Luz, and during this time Sandra achieved a degree in social work at Las Cruces, commuting every day. After she got her degree, she was instrumental in creating the Victim's Advocate Services in Alamogordo. The work she started benefitted many people, and the department there continues to help victims of crime in Alamogordo.
Eventually, Sandra moved to Roswell to help look after her parents. She worked for the Roswell Refuge for Battered Adults and the Victim's Advocate Program at the district attorney's office in Roswell. Her mother Ruthelle broke her hip and needed full-time care, so Sandra opted for early retirement and moved into the family home as primary caretaker for both Ruthelle and Bill in 2005.
After Ruthelle died in 2008, Sandra was hoping to spend some time traveling in Europe and living in Canada where her sister and son both live, but in 2010 she began suffering from the onset of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, although was not officially diagnosed until July 2011. The disease progressed with frightening speed, leaving her helpless and unable to speak.
She died peacefully at home in the loving care of her family.
She is survived by her son Jeffrey Miles Bracey and wife, Heather Faris; her sisters Elaine Howe and husband, Tom, and Kathleen Sheffeld and husband, Bill; her niece Miranda Howe; nephews Jeremy Howe and Logan Howe and wife, Kimberly; great-nieces; a nephew; and her 95-year-old father, Bill Wiggins.
Strong and funny, beautiful and very wise - these are just a few of the words that describe our lovely Sandra. She was an amazing woman. We have been missing her more and more each day since this horrible disease took her voice away, and now we'll miss her forever.
Burial will be at South Park with a private ceremony. There will be a gathering of friends and family at the family home at 711 W. Eighth St. in Roswell on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers for Sandra, make a donation to the Roswell Refuge for Battered Adults or to Bitter Lake National Park.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Sept. 20 to Oct. 19, 2012
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