2018-06-28 / Life in Leelanau

Talk of the County

Having a conversation with Ken Wigton


KEN WIGTON, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, was going to try out for the Detroit Tigers as a first baseman when he was drafted for the war efforts. KEN WIGTON, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, was going to try out for the Detroit Tigers as a first baseman when he was drafted for the war efforts. Name: Ken Wigton

Town or township of residence: Cedar

Resident since: 2012

Age and birthplace: I’m 97 years old and was born in Detroit.

Occupation: Retired carpenter and a World War II veteran. I worked for allied force headquarters about four years, also General Motors.

Marital status: My wife and I were married 75 years before she passed this year.

You live in Leelanau County because: We came here to live with my son, Doug, when my wife broke her hip. I’ll be staying as long as he’ll keep me around. I love the beautiful orchards and there are so many nice areas for swimming. I used to be very active and enjoyed doing all those things.

Last good movie you saw: I watch a lot of classic Westerns but my favorite movie is “The Pride of the Yankees.”

Last good book you read: My favorite author is Western novel writer Louis L’Amour. I also like to read history books about World War II. When I served, I was in London at the Allied Force Headquarters. We were working under Eisenhower, preparing things for the African invasion that never occurred.

If you could trade places with one person for one day, it would be: There were so many officers at the Allied Force Headquarters that I would like to trade places with. My other choice would be Lou Gehrig. I was a first baseman while I was in high school in Rochester. I was about to try out for the Tigers when the war came on and I was drafted instead.

Things important to you that you’ve accomplished so far: The most important thing would be raising my eight children alongside my wife. They all have college degrees and have done very well. They still are doing well today.

What you hope to be doing in 10 years: I hope to be with my wife, up in Heaven.

Things you lose sleep over: Nothing really.

If you could change one thing in Leelanau County it would be: I would bring my friends from Rochester to this area.

Favorite dessert: Cherry pie

Are you a coffee drinker? Yes. I drink it most mornings, always black.

Favorite place in Leelanau County: Holy Rosary Church

If you had more time you would: I’ve got too much time on my hands. All my life I was very busy, always making things, helping my kids build their houses, or playing baseball and tennis.

The words that best describe you are: A lover of children and always dedicated to my family.

Northwestern Michigan College student Kelsey Pease of Suttons Bay provides our “Talk of the County” to readers each week, and welcomes suggestions. She may be reached at kelsey@leelanaunews.com.

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