Jan. 5, 1933 – Sept. 14, 2019
Philip Lawrence Wiggle, of Amherst, a retired certified public accountant and management adviser, died Sept. 14 after a brief illness. He was 86.
Born in Buffalo, he was a 1950 graduate of Kensington High School. He enlisted in the Air Force at the end of the Korean War and served as a ground radio operator in Seoul, Korea, Michigan and Mississippi.
Returning from service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University at Buffalo in 1959 and joined the Buffalo office of Arthur Young and Co. as an auditor.
From 1963 to 1970, he served in various financial management positions for Hooker Chemical Corp. and traveled to plants around the nation.
He founded Wiggle and Co., Certified Public Accountants, in Amherst in 1970 and served as managing partner until he retired in 1993. His brother, Glenn, also a CPA, became his partner in 1977.
A certified sales executive and a certified marketing executive, he founded Aspen Business Communications Group in 1991 and was an executive coach, mentor and public speaker until 2016.
Mr. Wiggle became an adjunct professor in 1998 in the Department of Business, Management and Leadership at Medaille College, where he taught economics. He retired in 2016.
He served as a speaker and mentor for family-owned businesses for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SCORE, or Service Corps of Retired Executives, and was given the SBA Advocate of the Year Award. He was a member of the SBA’s Syracuse District Advisory Board, which included all of upstate New York.
He also was a mentor for the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
He was a member of Business Networking International, a former president of the Buffalo/Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives and an Advisory Board member for the SUNY Buffalo State Hospitality and Tourism Department.
He specialized in management advisory services, particularly for restaurants. He wrote a column for a restaurant industry newsletter. He also wrote the newsletter for his CPA firm and was a frequent contributor to Everybody’s Column in The Buffalo News.
The UB Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting fraternity, elected him Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1988.
A past member of the Lederhosen Ski Club, he enjoyed the Black Diamond slopes at Holiday Valley. He also was a bowler and tennis player. He pursued mineralogy and prospecting, especially in Aspen, Colo., a favorite vacation spot.
He was a Little League coach, a Boy Scout Explorer leader and a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Western New York.
He was a server at the Amherst Senior Center and played Santa Claus for a kindergarten class in Buffalo.
He also studied his family’s genealogy, which had a rich history. His ancestors arrived from England in 1634. One of them served on Gen. George Washington’s staff during the Revolutionary War. Others helped build the Erie Canal and fought in the Civil War.
His brother, Glenn, recalled that he was noted for his sociability “and could carry on a conversation with anyone. He once went to the wrong address for Thanksgiving dinner. He was invited in and after a beer and some friendly conversation, he looked around and discovered he was at the wrong house. I think they invited him back for the following year.”
In addition to his brother, survivors include a nephew.
A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the UB Newman Center Chapel, 495 Skinnersville Road, Amherst.