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Jiggs leaves a lasting impression

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opinion Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

In the 19 years that Jiggs and Pat Anderson did business in the West Fargo community they proudly crafted their legacy, leaving an indelible mark on the restaurant industry as hands-on owner-operators of Jiggs' Homestyle Restaurant, in their popular landmark location at Westgo Square.

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The Andersons were well versed in the food business, with Jiggs literally growing up in the field.

He was proud to be a third generation restaurateur from Hitterdal, whose grandparents operated a restaurant there in the 1920s and his parents after that.

Jiggs and Pat aptly carried on the tradition by establishing their first Jiggs' Restaurant there, successfully operating it for 17 years (along with a grocery store for several years), before moving to West Fargo in January of 1988, after leaving their business there in capable hands.

With their move to West Fargo, came a new determination to establish roots in a community that welcomed their business skills with open arms in their new eatery at Westgo Square.

In an interview at that time, Pat said the location was appealing to them because coming from a "conservative, practical background," they liked Wally and Mary Ann Tintes (Westgo Square owners') concept of using an older existing building to house new businesses.

The association was perfect, with West Fargo Jiggs' well received and quickly flourishing, becoming the popular eating destination for a passel of regulars who appreciated the home-style cooking and the personal touch provided by the ongoing presence of Jiggs and Pat - the main reasons you'd see the age-old regulars at their 'favorite' booth or table every time you entered the restaurant.

The business continued to thrive for almost 20 years, built on the basics - lots of hard work, integrity and sincerity, and an excellent history of homemade food, cooked just the way you liked it, at a price everybody could afford.

Prompted in 2007 by health issues relating to Jiggs, the pair decided it was time to step away, relinquishing their ties to their familiar Westgo Square location to the competent hands of new restaurateurs, with the business noting a name change to TNT's Diner.

Through the years, Jiggs and Pat were indeed the consummate professional team, totally hands-on, working their regular shifts, sometimes many more hours than they liked, but then that was the nature of the game.

They built a great business and in the process some wonderful lasting friendships that endure today.

In many peoples' minds and hearts the business will always be known as Jiggs,' named after the man, we are sad to say, passed away this last week at the age of 66.

Jiggs was his own man, his nature quiet and reserved, he never had much to say, always more intent on listening than speaking, but when he did, it was with a quick wit or all businesslike.

The obituary comments that ran in local newspapers over the weekend perhaps summed the man up best.

"Jiggs was a straightforward, honest man who quietly spoke his mind and firmly believed a man's word and handshake was sufficient. Behind that often inscrutable demeanor hid keen observational skills and insights into human nature that frequently amused and entertained him. Jiggs thoroughly enjoyed a good round of golf. One of his greatest joys in his life was his grandsons, Spencer and Tyler."

Jiggs is survived by his wife, Pat, and son Josh and daughter Jennifer Weisgram.

Our condolences go out to the entire Anderson family.

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