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Obituary - The Rev. Dr. James David Bigley Sr.
Heath Funeral Chapel
The Rev. Dr. James David Bigley Sr.
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, N.Y.
    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, Fla. 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, Fla. 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, Fla.; 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, Fla.; 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 in Barkeyville Cemetery, Western Pennsylvania, at a summer date TBA, COVID-19 permitting.
    Contributions honoring Dr. Bigley’s memory are suggested to be directed to Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA 16142; Memo: The Merle A. Parkes Scholarship Fund.
    Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You loved and were loved. Rest in peace.
    Arrangements by Heath Funeral Chapel, Lakeland, FL 33801; and Cunningham Funeral Home, Grove City, PA 16127.
    Condolences may be sent to the family at

Statesboro Herald, January 21, 2021
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