Robert Wigle

Obituary of Robert D. Wigle

Robert Dane "Butch" Wigle passed from this life on Friday September 13th after a brief illness. He was born on November 9th 1925 to Anna and Arnold Wigle of White Valley PA, the youngest of 4 children.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Gail Welsh, Ruth Latimer and Helen Galicic, step brother Ronald Geiger and first wife Wilma R Jetter, as well as lifelong hunting companions Marlon Hilty and Frank Patek.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Suzanne W. Wigle of Murrysville, PA, son Dr. Arnold Wigle and wife Theresa, of Ligonier, PA and grandchildren Elise Wells (Lyla and Ethan) of Stahlstown, PA, Roger John Wigle and wife Jennifer of Jennerstown, PA (River, Dane and Jack), Reda Wigle of Key West, Florida and Madelyn Wigle of Austin, Texas.

In addition, he is survived by in-laws, Charles and Judy Bergen of Sandwich Mass. and their children Charles, Danny and Kristen as well numerous nieces and nephews, including Deb Reck and husband Gary, who were both close to him.

He will be missed by all, but especially friends Scott and Kathy Rubright, Don and Gloria Hilty, Rose Patek, long time hunting companions George Wagner and Rob King and, as well, waitresses Andrea and Natalie who always knew what he wanted to order before he did.

Butch was a naturally gifted athlete who excelled on the baseball fields of Westmoreland County during his youth and played semi-pro ball before his enlistment in the Marine Corps in 1944. As a combat veteran of the 2nd Marine Division, he saw action on Saipan and was on a troop ship off Okinawa that was heavily damaged by a Kamikaze attack and then towed back to Saipan to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately, the Japanese surrendered that September and he served out his enlistment with US occupation forces close to Nagasaki.

After his discharge, he pursued his baseball dreams and signed a minor league contract with the Phillies, playing for their Eastern Shore and Georgia teams before moving on to the Pirates organization. He finished up his career in Waco, Texas, with one of their top farm teams.

He moved back to Pennsylvania and apprenticed in masonry, which he would do for the remainder of his working career. His talent for art was evident in the quality of his brickwork, which was admired and sought after. He remained an old school craftsman with old school values and always worked to the bell, never charging more than bid or agreed to. A handshake was his contract.

Butch was also an avid sportsman and grouse hunter who loved roaming the hollows and thickets of Western PA with his beloved bird dogs and hunting buddies. He remained fit and capable throughout the years and shot his last grouse at age 89, which he promptly declared was no big deal.

Additionally, he was an enthusiastic reader, particularly Civil War history, but he enjoyed all topics. Crossword puzzles were a daily routine until his hospitalization, and usually were completed.

He was a patriot, ever proud of his Marine Corps service, and remained supportive of our military throughout his life, particularly of the enlisted man. As a combat veteran however, he was distrustful of military adventurism and the unnecessary placement of troops in harm's way, no matter who made the decisions.

At his request there will be no funeral service. Memorial Contributions in his memory may be sent to the following organizations: United States Veteran Artist Alliance at www.USVAA.org; the Ligonier Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 734, 149 East Main St. Ligonier, PA 15658; or the Albert P. Gettings Memorial Foundation, 1400 Wilmington Ave., New Castle, PA 15658. The Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Inc., in Latrobe is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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