Dr. David L. Wigston - Professor always put teaching first

Dr. David L. WigstonEveryone loved David Wigston's narration, whether for the Flint Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops or an art show at a church, said his wife Sarah. David Wigston of Flint, a biology professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, died Dec. 30. He was 65. 

It was his British-accent that made his wife fall in love with him eight years ago, she said. "I had never heard that accent before," Sarah Wigston said. "It just made me melt. I said to myself, 'I've never felt like this about a person before.'"

They met in an elevator at UM-Flint, where Sarah Wigston had just been hired as a researcher. "He touched my hand and an electric shock went through my arm," She said. "It came from within him."

Wigston was born in London. His parents were musical performers in opera and theater and he preformed in several plays at UM-Flint. As a child he developed a love for music, his wife said. "He loved his Mozart," she said.

David Wigston also had a profound love of teaching. Sarah Wigston said her husband always put the university first and everything else was second. "He was so passionate about teaching," she said. Before coming to the United States, he taught at Northern Territory University in Australia (now called Charles Darwin University), starting in 1986. He became the dean of the science department there. The school called him an "educational pioneer" in an obituary news story on its Web site.

His wife said she would tease him about all his accomplishments. "I said 'what else do you want, do you want to get in the dictionary," Sarah Wigston said with a laugh. In Flint he narrated the Holiday Pops concert in 2006 and the "Peter and the Wolf" concert in 2007. Before that he narrated the symphony orchestra in Gainesville, Fla., home of the University of Florida, where he was a professor.

In addition to his wife, he leaves daughter, Alexa Dobinson, three stepchildren and 11 grandchildren.

Published in the Flint Journal 1/14/2009 | by David Harris