A member of the last graduating class at R.L. Cousins High School died recently. Willie Roy Wiggles, 68, has been described as a quiet lover of cars and a self-taught musician. Wiggles was one of 49 students who graduated with R.L. Cousins High School Class of 1967. He died on Nov. 27 and his funeral services were held last Saturday in Douglasville.
"Willie Roy and I were in first grade together," Faye Dobbs said. "We went through high school all the way together and we marched down that aisle [to graduate] for the last time together. He was really what everybody said, he had an infectious smile, always kind of quiet, yet devious. Just quiet in the background, but you knew he was there. Always helpful."
Dobbs and Wiggles were next-door neighbors a period of their childhood. Dobbs was a majorette with the school's marching band while Wiggles played on the football team until he suffered a knee injury. Dobbs joked that Wiggles acted as a friend to her when his friends weren't around, but the exact opposite when his other friends were present. She even recalls one of her last encounters with Wiggles this past August. After catching up and reminiscing about their days as classmates in high school, Wiggles went back to doing yard work as he continued to paint the exterior of his home. When Dobbs asked if he would do the same for her home, Wiggles declined and he said that he no longer provides those services for other people.
"It reminded me of how we would argue back-and-forth as kids," Dobbs said.
R.L. Cousins was open from 1958 to 1967 and was located where the current Stewart Middle School sits today. The school was one of two all-black schools in Douglas County that existed in that time period, with the other being Hutcheson High School, which existed from 1932 to 1958. The most special part of those schools was the community support they received, Dobbs said.
"The school was awesome for that time," Dobbs said. "It was before schools were integrated and we stuck together as a family. Even our teachers, still till this day, ask about each other, and it amazes me that some of the students are still around to remember. We had the best teachers in the world. During that time, the teachers were the type to go home with you for dinner … as a school, whatever we had, even if we had band practice, all of the neighborhood came out just to watch us practice the march up-and-down the street."
Dobbs left Douglasville after graduation in 1967. She currently lives in Decatur but has recently begun to get involved with the New Horizons committee and she said that she plans on moving back in the city within the next couple months on Carten Street, the same street that she grew up on. Dobbs is the second-cousin to 2010 Heisman candidate and Navy Lt. Ricky Dobbs.
Wiggles was also the older brother of Douglasville Councilwoman LaShun Burr Danley.
"I got the phone call at work," Danley said as she became teary-eyed. "So it's really hard for me to know that he had passed."
Danley said that while Wiggles wasn't extremely interested in politics, he supported her every step of her career.
Wiggles was drafted into the Army following his high school graduation and he was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. He served from 1967 to 1971 before he received an honorable discharge. Back home in Douglasville, he spent his last few years working on cars as a mechanic and he continued to privately play his keyboard and bass guitar.