Robert J. "Bob" Bigelow was a man with a giant heart. He was a selflessly loving and supportive husband of 46 years to Cheryl (Lipski). His greatest joy came from his children, Robert Charles, Christopher Hugh, and Jessica Kathleen Luella (Jeff) Doerr; and grandchildren, Anna, Peter, Lilliana, and Nathaniel who love their "Pop Pop" dearly. He was a devoted brother to William (Nancy), Rebekah (Michael) Spaulding, and Mary Beth (Donald) DeJonghe; uncle to Bradley, Brett, Katherine, Julia, Justin, and Jay.
Bob was born on Nov. 11, 1943 in Tecumseh, to his loving parents, Charles and Luella (Hendershot) Bigelow. His first childhood memory was sitting on top of his grandfather's draft horses, and it was working on his family's farm where Bob gained his unfailing work ethic. He spent every summer since the age of five alongside the clear waters of Crystal Lake where he taught countless happy guests at the family resort, Hill an' Dale, how to water ski behind a 1964 Century Resorter and ride the family's treasured horses.
He attended multiple colleges and universities including Cleary College where he joined the brotherhood of Tau Kappa Delta and graduated from Sienna Heights. He obtained master's level education in Vocational Construction Trades and was very proud to earn his builder's license and establish Bigelow Construction Company. Utilizing his many talents, he proudly designed and built two homes for his growing family in Grosse Pointe.
Bob was an educator of 30 years and taught building trades to thousands of students in the Warren Consolidated School System. He was a man who delighted in giving to others - from his family and friends to several community organizations, including his service as president of the Crystal Lake Property Rights Association and as a member of the Benzie Sunshine Rotary.
He eagerly offered rides in his replica 1932 Ford Model A and never missed the opportunity to drive it in the yearly 4th of July parade. Bob was a carpenter - a builder of homes, student's minds, community organizations, and of faith.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Rebekah; and mother-in-law, Kathleen (Wilkinson) Lipski, who lived with Bob and Cheryl for many years and was certainly one of the first to greet him home to his heavenly Father on Nov. 3, 2017, when Bob suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage.
His spirit lives on in his wife, children, grandchildren, and all the lives he uplifted.
Visitation will take place on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes on 313 W. Pottawatamie St. in Tecumseh, MI 49286. A funeral service will that place at 11 a.m., with a visitation at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Macon United Methodist Church on 11964 Tecumseh Macon Road, Clinton, MI 49236. Burial will follow at Macon Cemetery in Macon.
If you wish to make a contribution, a "Robert J. Bigelow Memorial Fund" is being established. Please make checks payable to Cheryl Bigelow c/o Central State Bank, 49 Benzie Blvd., P.O. Box 289, Beulah, MI 49617. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.handlerfuneralhomes.com.
Published on November 15, 2017