Like many Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield members, Shirley Wigans has been “Blue” for as long as she can remember. But Shirley has one distinction that is very much her own. In 1960, when she was Shirley Amosson, she was crowned Miss Blue Cross.
“It was a great honor for me, and I was totally thrilled.”
At the time, Wigans was a nursing student at Iowa Lutheran. “There were a lot of activities and a banquet — even the governor of Iowa was there,” says Wigans. “It was quite the event.”
Today, Wigans is as bright and vibrant as the girl from the photo more than 50 years ago. At 72, she has been married for 52 years to her husband, Bruce. Shirley was a nurse for the first six years of their marriage, then left nursing to devote herself full time to life on the farm.
“Farming has always been a big part of my life and has likely contributed to my good health. Growing up on a farm north of Goldfield, Iowa, we didn’t talk about living a healthy life; we just did it. We ate healthy. We stayed active by working hard. It was just a way of life,” says Wigans. Shirley and Bruce still live a healthy life, but in retirement, it’s a little different.
Shirley is passionate about many things, including her church and her family, which includes eight grandchildren. She and Bruce are also very active in their community. “I have been on the Wright Medical Foundation Board of Iowa Specialty Hospital for 15 years, just leaving the board last July,” says Shirley. “I have been very passionate about our hospital and the health care available in our community.”
The near future brings warm winters in Arizona, and most recently, the trip of a lifetime to Italy. Life is good for the former Miss Blue Cross.