The Rev. Dr. James David Bigley, Sr. died peacefully on January 9, 2021 of causes unrelated to COVID 19. Born on October 10, 1932 in New Castle, PA, he was one of nine children of I. E. and Ethel Mae Collins Bigley.
A graduate of New Castle High School in 1950, he continued his education at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA (1956) and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (1959) and PTS Doctor of Ministries degree (1980).Consistent with his lifelong love of learning and passionate pursuit of knowledge and truth, he continued studies at Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and the United States Army Military Chaplains School, Fort Hamilton, NY.
Ordained to the Gospel Ministry of The Presbyterian Church, USA in 1959, he pastored congregations at North Shenango Church, Espyville Station, PA., Calvert Memorial Church, Etna, PA., Maple Heights Presbyterian Church, Maple Heights, Ohio, and Tower Presbyterian Church, Grove City, PA. In 1987 he accepted a call to St. Andrew Church in Sun City Center, FL. After serving that congregation for nearly 10 years, he retired in December 1996. In early 1997, he served as Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, FL. A special and favorite commitment at First Presbyterian Church Lakeland, was leading “The Bigley Boys” monthly Bible Study Group – a joy for all “The Boys” indeed. He was an active Presbyter serving as Moderator of Shenango (PA) Presbytery, twice Commissioner to the denominations General Assembly, served as Tampa Bay Presbytery Chair of New Church Development and Committee on Ministries liaison. An excellent communicator of the Gospel, he continued preaching where needed for several years after retirement.
Community outreach efforts included serving on United Way, Rotary Club President and Paul Harris Fellow, Chair Y Century Club – Southeast Cleveland YM/YWCA, Chaplain to Maple Heights Fire and Police Departments, Grove City Chamber of Commerce and Board of Directors of Florida Presbyterian Homes for 10 years.
Jim served as an enlisted man in the United States Army during the Korean War era. He joined the Ohio National Guard in 1965, attained the rank of Captain and served as the Protestant Chaplain with the 107th Armored Cavalry based in Cleveland, Ohio until 1972. He attended and graduated from the U.S. Army Chaplain School at Fort Hamilton, New York.
Predeceased by his parents, and siblings William E. Bigley, Donna Jean Bigley, Betty Fisher, Maxine Green and Winifred McGowan, Dr. Bigley is survived by his wife, Shirley Parkes Bigley and their ﬁve children: Shirley. L. B. LaMotte (Lawrence), Baltimore; James D. Bigley, Jr. (Brenda), Statesboro, GA; Scott A. Bigley, Tarpon Springs, FL; Jonathan P. Bigley (Maureen Remley) Duncannon, PA, and Joel A. Bigley, Grove City, Pa.
Jim had a great love of the outdoors and enjoyed gardening, hunting and occasionally fishing…. not to mention collecting STUFF and tinkering in his garage with all HIS STUFF. Thus saying, the real love and joy of his life were his beloved Grandchildren: Kristen LaMotte Ebersole (Jonathan); Amy Bigley Works (Kevin); Katherine E. Bigley; Alixandra R. Bigley (Michael Hanley), Ashlyn E. Bigley, Jonathan P. R. Bigley (Kayla); Maher A. R. Bigley; and his four precious Great Grandchildren; Kagen Parkes and Remley Vanae Bigley; Isla Shay Works and Eloise Victoria Ebersole. Surviving also are Dr. Bigley’s sisters Mary Lou Williams and Patricia Boatman, New Castle, PA, Carol Smith, Ocala, FL; Sisters-in-law Joan Parkes Conti and Judith Parkes Feola, New Castle, Pa., and a multitude (60+!!) of nieces and nephews who hold dear their memories of Uncle Jim.
Interment Service will be held at Barkeyville Cemetery, Western Pennsylvania at a summer date TBA – COVID 19 permitting.
Well done thou good and faithful servant. You loved and were loved. Rest in peace.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.