Phyllis Ann (Thornburg) Dwiggins

Born: Sat., May 12, 1923
Died: Wed., May 1, 2019

Private Committal

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Phyllis Ann Dwiggins, 95, loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, of 120 Sunset Drive, Winchester, IN, passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Reid Hospital, Richmond, IN, leaving behind no regrets, as she admirably claimed a full and adventurous life well lived.

Ann was born May 12, 1923 and was the daughter of Roy and Rose (Cox) Thornburg.  She graduated from McKinley High School, Randolph County, in 1941, and went on to nurses training.  On September 9, 1943, Ann married Donald (Don) Dwiggins, her high school sweetheart who at the time was serving in the U.S. Navy.  Ann graduated from Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Indianapolis in 1944, with a degree in Nursing, where Ann’s natural ability to care for and look after people was fostered.  Ann was a private practice nurse in Indianapolis for a few months after graduation before moving back to Winchester with Don, where they fulfilled their first dream together, starting a family with the first of the six Dwiggins children born in 1945.

Supported by Ann’s schooling and experience along with their strong sense of community, Don and Ann went on to achieve another dream, when they became Superintendent and Matron of the Randolph County Home from 1952 until their retirement in 1984.  The entire Dwiggins family looks back on their time in the County Home as the most memorable time fulfilling important roles as caregivers and embracing the responsibility of being the pillar of a community they happened to call home.  Their lifetime commitment was recognized when Don and Ann were honored as Randolph County “Citizens of the Year” in 1984.

While Ann and Don spent a lot of their time committed to the care and needs of the residents of the County Home, there was no shortage of love and happiness shared with the Dwiggins Six growing up.  They were known to tap dance to entertain the kids and other relatives.  They also encouraged the children to sing, as Don, an accomplished musician, arranged music and coached them as an acapella vocal group.  Ann equally enjoyed the memories of music and dancing, and often reminisced about the times the Dwiggins children sang, not only for the residents of the County Home, but also at events throughout the tri-state area. 

In addition to music and caretaker abilities, Ann and Don also shared a love of travel and had taken trips to New York City with the Concord High School band to watch them march in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Spain when their son, Doug, was living there, and the Caribbean on a cruise to celebrate their momentous 50th anniversary.  On this cruise, at the young age of 70, they even showcased their tap dancing talent and were rewarded with a prize for their sensational footwork!

In 1990, just a few short years after retiring from the County Home, Ann and Don continued to realize their dreams, and moved to Big Barbee Lake, Pierceton, IN, as they always wanted to live by the water.  The home by the lake reminded them of family vacations and adventures with the Dwiggins kids, especially those at Lake Webster, which included waterskiing, fishing, and relaxing on a pontoon boat. 

Ann returned to Winchester shortly after Don’s passing on February 11, 2004, where she was always surrounded by family and friends, especially as the Dwiggins family expanded and continued to grow. She was known to fill her time doing what she loved most; taking trips to Greenville to have a Maid-Rite and a bag of chips, alongside a Lil’ King, watching basketball (especially IU, Purdue and Larry Bird), following NASCAR and her hero Jeff Gordon, playing cards and cracking crossword puzzles.

Ann will be most remembered for her infectious smile, excitement for surprise adventures, love of shopping for cute shoes, achievement of her lifelong dreams and most of all, her sharp mind and wit that could put the best of us in our place, even up until her final days.

Ann is survived by sons, Dean Winchester IN; Douglas (Carolyn) Bethune, SC; Dennis (Judy) Portland, IN; Daniel Winchester, IN; son-in-laws, Max Jones Lafayette, IN (Dianne); Mike Girton Winchester, IN (Daralee), 9 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren with #16 due in less than four weeks.

She was preceded in death by parents Roy and Rose Thornburg; husband Don; and daughters, Dianne Jones, Daralee Girton; granddaughter, Missy Girton; sisters; Elizabeth Eileen Brown of West Lafayette, Charline Thornburg of Indianapolis; and brother, L. Ivan Thornburg of Ridgeville, IN. 

A private family Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Fountain Park Cemetery in the Goodrich Chapel. At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorial charitable contributions are preferred and may be made to the American Heart Association or the Max and Dianne Jones Memorial Music Lesson Scholarships Fund (for Winchester Community High School Band & Choir Students) c/o Community Foundation of Randolph County, 120 West Washington St., Winchester, IN 47394,  Checks should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Randolph County. Please note Ann Dwiggins on the memo line.

Walker Funeral Home in Winchester is entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences may be shared with the family at



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Terri (Hoerst) Holmes
   Posted Tue May 07, 2019
So very sorry for your loss. Prayers to your family.

stanley hendrickson
   Posted Tue May 07, 2019
I have so many fond memories of Ann and Don at the county home. They took such good care of the many people thru the years. Than you for sharing them with us. Stan and Gretchen Hendrickson

Tina Roberts
   Posted Tue May 07, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. She was such a kind woman. I always enjoyed seeing her when she visited Dan.

Marcia Davis Sproul
   Posted Wed May 08, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. I remember all of the Dwiggins family with such caring and joy for life's little moments. I loved to watch Don and Ann tap and hear all of you sing. What a full and rich life. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

David and Nancy Gumpp
   Posted Thu May 09, 2019
We are sorry for your loss.

I fondly remember many of the events mentioned in the obituary.

We are unable to attend the funeral do to our health issues.

Dave Gumpp

Carl & Suze Wilt
   Posted Fri May 10, 2019
Don & Ann were dear next door neighbors for many years. Parties, card games, love of flowers, pumpkin rolls were frequently shared. Ann was indeed a loving and caring person and will be greatly missed. Our sympathy to all the family.

Dolphus Stephens
   Posted Fri May 10, 2019
Dear Dennis, Judy and all of your family:
What a joyous, uplifting obituary that chronicles the life of your lovely mother. Indeed sounds like a cause for celebration even through the tears and precious memories. Prayers to all of you.

Fondly, Dolphus and Nora Stephens

Kay Marshall Birum
   Posted Wed May 15, 2019
Sending sincere condolences to all the family. Sorry to learn of Ann's passing.

Jack Elliott
   Posted Mon May 27, 2019
Here's to a life well lived! Blessings, light and love to the entire Dwiggin's Family. - Jack