January 22, 1942—August 22, 2022
Robert Swift Wigton, M.D., M.S. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 22, 1942, the first child of Marcia Catherine (Swift) Wigton and Robert Spencer Wigton, M.D. He attended Dundee Elementary and graduated from Central High School in 1960. He received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1965 and his M.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1969, as well as a M.S. in Physiology in 1973. Upon completion of his residency, he joined the faculty of the College of Medicine in the section of General Internal Medicine. After nearly 50 years as an active faculty member Dr. Wigton was granted Emeritus status on January 1, 2022.
Throughout his long career Dr. Wigton served in many administrative roles, including 37 years as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and nine years as Chief of General Internal Medicine. His research in medical education and medical decision making resulted in over 150 publications and book chapters and many presentations. He was honored to receive awards from local, state, and national organizations, some of which he served for many years in various roles. He considered it a privilege to teach medical students and residents, both in the classroom and through direct patient care.
Dr. Wigton’s passion for history, especially medical history and specifically the history of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine led to the title “unofficial historian” for the campus. This involved many projects, presentations, and collaborations, as well as support for the McGoogan Library and ultimately the Wigton Heritage Center. These activities, which he continued through August 8, 2022, were a source of great enjoyment and satisfaction.
Dr. Wigton was also known as Bob Wigton. He lived most of his life in Omaha. He cherished his years at Dundee and Central H. S., both his teachers and classmates, and was honored to be inducted into the Central Hall of Fame in 2009. He looked forward to helping plan every class reunion. Bob was a talented musician, photographer, and artist. His leisure activities included motorcycling (when younger!), travel, woodworking, gardening, hiking, reading science fiction and history, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr, Wigton was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents Harrison A. Wigton, M.D. and Jessie (Mosher) Wigton and Charles H. Swift, M.D., and Lydia (Willey) Swift. He is survived by his wife of more than 46 years Deborah “Debbie” (Adkins) Wigton; his brother James H. Wigton, M.D. and sister-in-law Judith (Youngman) Wigton; sister-in-law Ruth (Adkins) Flint/Jim; brothers-in-law Jack Adkins and Craig Adkins/Valerie; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his longtime assistant and colleague at the College of Medicine and very dear friend Vicki Hamm.
The Wigton family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff of the McGoogan Library, the entire staff of Aseracare Hospice and the Josie Harper Hospice House for their assistance and loving care and support.
A celebration of life service is planned for autumn. Memorial donations could be made to the Wigton Family Scholarship Fund, Fund #01026850, University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln NE 68508 or the charity of your choice.