Rebecca Del Carmen-Wiggins

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Memorial Minute for Rebecca Del Carmen-Wiggins, 1957-2021

Rebecca Del Carmen-Wiggins, beloved wife, mother, friend, colleague, and Member of Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW), let her life speak through her kindness and commitment to service. Rebecca was a native Californian whose parents’ Filipino-Lebanese heritage informed her cultural sensitivity and respect for people of diverse backgrounds.  

Rebecca received a doctorate in psychology from Ohio State University and practiced as a licensed psychologist in Maryland and Washington, DC where she also served on the faculty of American University and Georgetown University. A researcher and health advocate, Rebecca worked for many years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While at the Office of Research on Women’s Health at NIH, she worked to ensure that research reflects fundamental differences in women’s health and physiology and resulting health needs that are particular to women. In addition to being loved by her family and F/friends, she was greatly respected by her colleagues.

Rebecca was married for 29 years to Stephen E. Wiggins, M.D., an active FMW Attender, with whom she had two children, Danny and Lizzie. She became a member of FMW in April 2000, after having attended Meeting since 1997 with Steve and their children. In her letter requesting membership, Rebecca explained that she had first been introduced to Quaker beliefs by her 95-year-old grandmother who attended a Quaker school some 80 years earlier. Rebecca described her grandmother as exemplifying Quaker values of simplicity and service to others and having been “a major inspiration throughout my life.” Reflecting on her desire to help others, Rebecca’s letter continued that her grandmother’s influence, her own experiences of loss and subsequent “spiritual seeking and spiritual discovery” and a “drive to serve others in need… led to a readiness to accept Quakerism as a living force in my life.”

During her years at FMW, Rebecca served on the Religious Education Committee, was active in helping to plan and support Catoctin weekends and was a frequent volunteer for auctions and other FMW events. Friends always enjoyed her participation in the annual Christmas Eve potluck, carol singing, and silent worship, where her daughter Lizzie sang as beautifully as the angels described in the carols.

Friends fondly remember Rebecca’s glowing smile and her attentiveness to others when in conversation– Rebecca had a great gift of making you feel seen, heard, and cared for. She spoke encouragingly about and to most people, especially children. She was always stylish, mostly in her characteristic pastel clothes. Rebecca loved family, kids especially, and cooking Lebanese and Filipino food. She was an optimistic person, with a quick smile and a great intellect. FMW is the better for her having been among us.