"Nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile..." -Grateful Dead
  • 35 years old
  • Born on October 14, 1981 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, United States.
  • Passed away on July 3, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky, United States.

This memorial website was created to honor and preserve the memory of our beloved Jacob.  Jake passed peacefully on July 3rd, 2017 surrounded by his family. We will miss him and remember him forever.  

Services for Jake are this Friday (July 7th) at Hartland Clubhouse (4910 Hartland Parkway in Lexington, KY).  Open visitation from 12-4:30 pm with a memorial service following at 5:00 pm.  Feel free to bring food to share or an instrument to jam with your friends.  Jake wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Please leave your memories of Jake.  As a life-long mistchief maker, adventure taker, and jam session instigator, we know all his family and friends have many stories, pictures, and videos to share.  Please leave these memories on this website so we can look back at them over the years as we hold Jake firmly in our hearts.

If you desire to make a donation to support the family in paying for final expenses, please use this Go Fund Me account: https://www.gofundme.com/JacobAWigginton.  

If you feel moved to make a charitable donation in honor of Jake, please consider one of the organizations listed below.

The Morehead Inspiration Center.  MIC had an immeseriably positive impact on Jacob's life.  Checks can be dropped off or mailed to Morehead Inspiration Center/Jason Jones at PO Box 92, Morehead, KY 40351.

- The Red River Gorge.  Jake loved the Gorge.  Donations in Jacob's honor can be made by check mailed to the Gladie Visitor's Center (3451 Sky Bridge Highway Rd. Hwy 715, Stanton, KY40380).  Make checks payable to the USDA and indicate For: Red River Gorge.

Posted by P J on 12th July 2017
Your loved one apparently lived life joyfully and really loved people. God has promised to bring about a time when we can see our loved ones again at Revelations 21:4.  At that time all mankind will enjoy perfect health of mind and body on a paradise earth. May you find comfort from the God of all comfort.
Posted by Derick Bowman on 9th July 2017
I met Jake sometime around 2001 or 2002-ish...we shared mutual friends at EKU and I thank God that we were introduced to each other. From then on, whenever we ran into each other, the first thing that happened would be a hug and a "how are you doing brother?" I am a few years older, and in '03 I finally graduated from the "Eternal Colonel" program (I first enrolled at EKU in '96, lol)...and I moved back to my hometown of Lexington. Over the next 5-6yrs the only time I would see Jake was when we ran into each other "on the road", meaning, at music shows and festivals...but around '09-10 we started seeing each other and hanging out much more frequently. This is when the real magic occured, when Jake and I decided to put our talents together and form a rather ragged and edgy Americana acoustic music duo, known as the Appalachian Highlanders. Jake and I had so much fun spending countless hours rehearsing his originals and lots of very cool covers ranging from George Jones, David Allen Coe, John Prine, the Stanley Brothers...all the way across the musical universe to the Grateful Dead. We helped each other through ups and downs...and there was definitely some struggle and strife in his personal life, but Jake never failed to deliver on stage. He was always "money". In private we talked about how we had both lost a brother to death, and wondered what our lives would have been like if they had lived. We decided that it was ok, and that we WERE brothers. He often told me he loved me and always called me brother. I will miss him forever, no doubt about that. RIP my brother.
Posted by Maria Turner on 8th July 2017
I had the pleasure of being Jake's 8th grade English teacher. I admit that, at first, I didn't perceive it as a pleasure, because Jake had something to say about everything I said! Sometimes it was a clever joke, other times it was an observation, but always, it captured the attention of the class and threw me off a bit! It was like being the "straight man" at "The Jake Wigginton Show." Fortunately, we came to an understanding early in the year that, in order for me to teach my students, I needed his help. He continued to be a major presence in the room, but he learned to be respectful and rein it in! Sometimes, though, we all just had to abandon the lesson and laugh with Jake. I can still see him sitting there, front row, off a little to my left, wide-eyed and grinning...the sweetest class clown ever.
Posted by Whitney Jones on 8th July 2017
My sincere condolences go out to Jake's family. It is especially difficult to lose someone so young and full of promise. God has promised to bring about a time when we can see our loved ones again. (Revelation 21:3,4) At that time all mankind will enjoy perfect health on a paradise earth. May you find comfort from the God of all comfort.
Posted by Janelda Mitchell on 7th July 2017
I didn't know Jacob very well, mainly as Megan's husband. But that was enough to see how happy they were together, the strength of their love. A love like that is a tribute to Jacob, and the family who raised him, and the extended family evidenced here in all these wonderful tributes. I pray for peace and good memories for you.
Posted by Jessica Bowman on 7th July 2017
I met Jake and Megan right when I started dating my now husband. A few years later Derick and Jake played music as a duo they called Appalachian Highlanders. I really enjoyed watching them play, listening in while they practiced at the house, and all the laughter that ensued as well. We had some really good times together. Jake was so lovable that we agreed to have him to our house to watch his beloved Cardinals even though we bleed blue through and through :p Jake was a master of words and no words seem fitting enough for the impact he had on our family and this world. He had a way of making each person in his life feel special and loved. I hope we can all find a way to BE that love and share that love he gave so well.
Posted by Samantha Garrett on 7th July 2017
Such a beautiful soul. He was the love of my life in college. He was a huge part of my life and I have always had love for him. His light shinned so bright and he is greatly missed.
Posted by Sherry Coomer on 7th July 2017
Jakes first haircut .Jake running through a field of daffodils. Jake as a small child with his arm in a cast and a bandana sling. Jake sitting at my kitchen table playing Uncle Johns Band. Jake floating in my canoe. Jake sitting in my living room watching college basketball. Jakes big ole hugs. Jakes big ole smile. Jakes love for his family. These are vivid images that will forever be in my mind and in my heart.There was only one Jacob Wigginton and since he was a small child he made sure the world knew it! His heart was big and his life was LARGE, Heaven is lucky to have him. There is an awesome reunion happening there and I am comforted imagining it!
Posted by Jenny Seals on 7th July 2017
Jake's smile is forever in my memory! He was such a great empowering soul! His love was widespread among so many different people in many different places and he will never be forgotten! You were one of a kind! I love you Jacob!
Posted by Julia Tucker on 6th July 2017
Jake was a first. He was my first nephew and my parents first granchild. He was the cutest baby ever. Not long after Jake was born he got a cousin to play with William my son. They loved digging in the dirt, playing in the creek, playing with their GI Joe's and getting into mischief. I always saw Jake as the clown and William was the straight man. Together they were hilarious. Jake was like another son. I have to share one funny story. We were at Jake's college graduation.watching the graduates file in. Nita believed she had found which one was Jake. About that time her phone rang. When she answered her voice became excited and a little loud. Jake had overslept and we were looking for him for nothing. After hurriedly getting dressed (including putting on Megan's very small pants by mistake) we finally see him slip in just to join the line of graduates proceeding to the stage to get their diplomas. Jake did graduate and left us with a great story. Jake's absence will leave an empty place at our table but his infectious smile will always be in our hearts. Let your voice sing in heaven,rest in peace.
Posted by Emily Lynch on 6th July 2017
I noticed him before I ever met him... Knew from afar he was someone I needed to know... Then we did meet, and that was it... Forever friends... We shared an apartment at eku, I was a groom's person at his and Megan's wedding, he officiated mine... He rushed to be by my side when my best friend passed... Always there to protect me, comfort me, make me laugh, go on musical adventures with me... His love was luminescent, ever-present, unwavering, and simply joyful...I will miss picking up the phone and hearing "hello baaaay-by" and I will miss his hugs... He had a way of bringing me out of my comfort zone, only to always have a super fun time... He loved my children, my family... He loved me when I didn't feel I deserved it... He just loved, constantly and unconditionally...
Posted by Robin Terry on 6th July 2017
I'm thinking about Jake. He was not perfect (who is?). He didn't sail through life without hardship or pain. But from his very first breath, he was much loved and a joy to be around. Even in the sadness and chaos of his death, love for him gave courage to those who loved him, and enabled them to care for him in the best possible way. CS Lewis said, "hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." I'm thinking about Jake today and I'm thinking it was his destiny to be a candle. A candle makes everything around it brighter. His light inspired Megan and all his family to not let his candle simply go out, but pass its flame to many other families. I'm thinking about Jake today, just like I'll do in many days to come.I think today, I'll cook a good meal for my family, and sing Wayfaring Stranger in his honor. It's a start.
Posted by Brittany Boatley on 6th July 2017
Jake was one of a kind. He was such a good person and would have done anything for anyone. Jake saw me in some of the worst points in my life and he never judged me. He was there for me and was one of the truest friends I could have ever had. You couldn't help but smile and laugh when Jake was around. Jake always said I was the "sister he never wanted" jokingly but thats exactly how it was. He was the big brother I didnt have and he looked out for me and always gave me advice when i needed it. I have so much love for him and I will forever be grateful for the friend that he was to me
Posted by William Tucker on 6th July 2017
My cousin was one of the most light-hearted and fun-loving souls that has ever walked this earth. He lived his life his way, was always positive and always had a good time. If something went wrong, he was this first to joke and lighten the mood. He was a kind and caring person who was friendly to everyone that crossed his path and who loved his friends and family very much. He was like my brother and I have so many fond memories and stories of us growing up together that I will never forget. I will miss him but also cherish the good times we had together and be grateful that I had such an awesome friend. Love you, man.
Posted by Lynn Ennis on 6th July 2017
Mark and Juanita and my wife Lyn and I have known each other since our college days, way back when. After college we stayed in touch and would often get together. One of these visits produced a very cute, very precious, incident involving Jake. For those of you that may not have known Jacob as he was growing up, Jake seemed to have two speeds: Stop and Full Blast! Apparently, he thought if he used Stop too much, he would wear it out so he did his best to stay at Full Blast. When Jake was about five, Lyn and I were visiting Mark and Juanita at their house in Glendale. Juanita and Lyn were sitting on the sofa in the living room and I believe Mark and I were sitting on the other side of the room. Out of nowhere, Jacob runs into the room and slides to a stop in front of Lyn and Juanita. He locks in on Lyn, gets this mischievous smile, puts his left hand on his hip, pokes his crotch forward, grabs it with his right hand, gives it a little shake and pronounces: “I’m A Man!!”. This left my wife howling with laughter! Rocking back and forth, clapping her hands and just howling. In contrast Juanita sat very stoically with a small, wry, smile on her face and when Lyn finally started to calm down; Juanita looked at Lyn and said something along the lines of “Lyn, if you could show just a little self-control it would go a long way in helping me keep a handle on Jake”. Well, not only did Lyn make no promises of any increase in self-control around Jake but this request sent Lyn into another fit of laughter. To Lyn, Jake’s performances were just too funny to be ignored. As for Jake, he had made his statement and just as fast as he had entered the room he was off to find more entertainment. To Mark, Juanita, Rachel, Sara and Megan: through the many precious memories Jacob has left you, I bet you find that Jake will have the ability to make you smile…. Long into the future!
Posted by Hank Wiley on 6th July 2017
Jake. I miss you. Sitting in your moms kitchen, with that harp strap around your neck, and a guitar in your lap, singing songs from your heart and life are vivid memories in my mind tonight. The smile that you always greeted me with. This transition is hard for those that are left, but today, your guitar is tuned perfectly, every note on the harmonica is perfection, and your voice is pitch perfect. And we will play again. Reunion will be sweet. Family pain will ease slightly. And I KNOW you are singing as I write this, and the audience is feeling. See you again soon!
Posted by Mark Wigginton on 6th July 2017
Jake loved camping & the outdoors. We started teaching him an appreciation for nature at a very young age, and this stuck with him his whole life. All through those difficult teenage years, whenever things got sticky between us, I'd say, "Son, let's go to the woods." Those trips, just me & Jake, always made things better. Our first backpacking trip was to Red River Gorge when he was 3, with him, his mom, our dog Daisy, & me. We thought we'd planned an easy hike, but it was a lot for his short little legs. We encouraged him to "Just put one foot in front of the other," and we finally climbed to our campsite. He was playing happily, and we asked him if he was having fun. His smiling reply, "Next time, can we go to the zoo?"
Posted by Juanita Wigginton on 6th July 2017
My son was the funniest kid ever, & his imagination knew no bounds. When he was 3, he went to Bible School & told the nice ladies his name was Arthur. No clue where he came up with that one! When I went to pick him up, they told me they'd had a very confusing day. They had concluded he had a hearing problem, because whenever they called his name to get his attention, he wouldn't answer! Someone who knew us finally passed through & straightened things out. I still have a picture of him with his name tag on: "Arthur."
Posted by Jenna Rose on 6th July 2017
I didn't know Jacob personally. I saw this memorial on the front page. Looking at the photos, he seemed like a beautiful young man. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts & love are with you. May Jacob be at peace.
Posted by Christopher Benavides on 6th July 2017
Your hugs, words and songs helped me go through some of the toughest times in my life. Forever Grateful Forever Family.
Posted by Dan Jones on 6th July 2017
One of the greatest people you will ever know. I love you Jake. You definitely brought out the best in everyone you met. God wanted you more. Fly high bro.
Posted by Erica Walker on 6th July 2017
I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Jake in 2014. I will always remember his honest spirit and his true care and concern for others. I remember being at Cave Run Lake seeing him play the harmonica and guitar simultaneously and thinking wow look how talented this guy is... and he certainly was! I would like to send love, light, and prayers to all of Jake's family and friends. I know his exit from this plane will leave an overwhelming feeling of emptiness in your lives but the guy I knew would want you to continue living your lives to the fullest extent possible. I think he would want you to be happy and for his legacy to be one of light and laughter. God's speed Jake!!
Posted by John Nall on 5th July 2017
A favorite memory of mine for Jake is when he was just learning to walk. Jake had just learned to walk. He, his mom (Juanita) and his grandmother Nall were at Nita and Marks home. Nita and Grandmother Nall were sitting and watching Jake walk. He was trying his best to get away from them and laughing so hard. He was having a great time. I will never forget that moment. God has him now and they are surely laughing just as hard as he did so many years ago. God Bless, Uncle John and Aunt Patty
Posted by Jeanna Friend on 5th July 2017
The world is indeed mourning the loss of such an awesome soul. Taken too soon and made such an impact on whoever he met. Jake is in a better place but the rest of us will miss you.

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