Mabel Preston Wiggins, 86, who assisted her husband, James Russell Wiggins, in a career in which he served as editor of The Washington Post, ambassador to the United Nations and publisher of The Ellsworth (Maine) American in Ellsworth, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 19 at "Carlton Cove," her residence in Ellsworth.

Mrs. Wiggins was born in Luverne, Minn. She married James Wiggins on Feb. 8, 1923, and lived in Luverne until 1930, when Mr. Wiggins joined the St. Paul Pioneer-Dispatch Press as an editorial writer. From 1933 to 1938, they lived in Washington, when he was the newspaper's correspondent here, and they went back to St. Paul when he became managing editor.

In 1946, the couple lived in New York City, where Wiggins was assistant to the publisher of The New York Times. They returned to Washington in 1947 when he became managing editor of The Post. He later was named editor.

In 1968, the Wigginses went to New York City, where he served as ambassador to the United Nations in the last year of the Johnson administration. In 1969, they settled in Ellsworth and since then had run The Ellsworth American, which they had purchased in 1966.

In addition to assisting her husband in the public and social aspects of his career, Mrs. Wiggins was a Red Cross and USO volunteer during World War II. She also was a member of the PEO Sisterhood.

In 1979, she published "Begats," a genealogy of her family. The book remains of interest to genealogists because of the original method she used of arranging family history.

In addition to her husband, survivors include four children, William James Wiggins of Castine, Maine, Geraldine W. Thommsen of St. Paul, Patricia W. Schroth of Sedgwick, Maine, and John Russell Wiggins of Brooklin, Maine; a sister, Nellie Preston of Roseburg, Ore.; 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

ALEXANDER S. PAXSON

Army Chaplain

Alexander S. Paxson, 78, an Army chaplain who retired as a colonel, died of cancer and sepsis Oct. 11 at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va.

Col. Paxson was born in Harmonville, Pa. He graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and received a divinity degree from Drew University. He also received a master's degree in history from the University of New Mexico and a master's degree in education from Columbia University.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, then remained in the reserves after the war. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and served in Korea during that conflict. Other assignments included service in Vietnam during the war there and duty in Germany, Japan, Colorado, Hawaii and at Fort Meade.

He came to the Washington area as a permanent resident in 1967, when he was named post chaplain at Fort Belvoir. He retired from the Army in 1970 after having served as post chaplain at Fort Myer.

A former resident of Falls Church, Col. Paxson had lived at Lake of the Woods since 1984.

His first wife, Leona Caroline Paxson, died in 1961. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Gist Paxson of Lake of the Woods; their four children, Michael Gist C. Paxson, Sandy G.C. Bittner and Robert Lawrence Paxson, all of Alexandria, and Ann G.C. Clark of Colorado Springs; two children from his first marriage, Charlotte Louise Burris of San Diego and Carolyn Lee Knutsen of Grass Valley, Calif.; a sister, Narina Turner Paxson of Orange City, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and a great grandchild.

MARCY B. BRIGHAM

Clerk

Marcy Benton Brigham, 91, a Commerce Department clerk for 40 years before retiring in 1959, died of leukemia Oct. 18 at Washington Hospital Center.

Mr. Brigham, who lived in Washington, was a native of Georgia. He graduated from Hampton Institute in 1919. He then came here and joined the Commerce Department.

He had been a member of Zion Baptist Church of Eastland Gardens in Washington.

His wife, Sadie Thomas Brigham, whom he married in 1930, died in 1958. Survivors include two daughters, Marlene Foster and Marcy Bowie, both of Washington; a son, Jerome Brigham of Landover; 17 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

JOHNNIE R. WILSON

GPO, Andrews Employee

Johnnie R. Wilson, 58, a retired cook at Andrews Air Force Base who also had been a printing plant employee at the Government Printing Office, died of cancer Oct. 18 at his home in Oxon Hill.

Mr. Wilson was born in Maysville, S.C. He attended Morris College in Sumter, S.C., and moved to the Washington area in 1952.

He had various jobs before joining the GPO in 1962. Because of cancer, he retired in 1974. But he later was a maintenance worker for the Group Health Association for six years and then a cook at Andrews Air Force Base for five years before retiring a second time in 1989.

Mr. Wilson was a member of Rehoboth Baptist Church in Washington, the Glassmanor Civic Association in Oxon Hill and the American Association of Retired Persons.

Survivors include his wife, Turner H. Wilson, whom he married in 1960, of Oxon Hill; a daughter, Felicia Shingler of Oxon Hill; three sisters, Albertha Wheeler of Washington, Corine Hampton of Maysville and Rosetta Mayo of Sumter, S.C.; two brothers, Edgar Wilson of Sumter and Robert Wilson of Maysville; and a grandchild. MORE OBITUARIES ON PAGE C6