Shirley Bigelow

07/14/1936 — 06/20/2024

From Richland, WA | Born in Lidgerwood, ND

Celebration of Life

Sat, July 13, 2024, 1:00 pm
Redeemer Lutheran
520 Thayer Dr. Richland ,WA 99352

Shirley Bigelow

Shirley Bigelow of Richland, WA passed away in June 2024 after a valiant battle with cancer.

Shirley was born July 14, 1936 in, Lidgerwood, ND to Elma and Alvin Strege.

She and her family moved to Richland in 1948. In the seventh grade she met Charlie Bigelow. They married after high school and were married for 54 years until his death in 2008. She was always a proud Richland Bomber and served as chair for many class reunions.

Shirley worked as a secretary of Lewis and Clark Elementary school for many years where she established life long friendships with many teachers, principals, and students.

She was known for her legendary taco feeds! It didn’t matter if an extra 4 or 40 people showed up unexpectedly, there was always enough for everyone. She loved to be the “hostess with the mostest”! She could put together a “plate of goodies” or platters of food in minutes. Her theory was, “If you feed them, they will come.”

Shirley was an avid card player. If you came to visit, you better bring cash, she didn’t just play for fun.  It was always a blast around the dining room table playing 3-13. Of course, snacks and drinks were served and as her father used to say, “If you want to visit, go to the kitchen,” it was during our card playing that her wicked sense of humor really shined through!

She put on the most amazing Christmas celebrations. She’d start shopping in January to ensure everyone had a perfect Christmas. In the later years when the family gatherings grew smaller, she bought totes full of toys for Toys for Tots.

Shirley loved her trips to Seattle, Montana, AZ, and her one trip to Germany. One of the most epic trips was when 11 of us girls all went to Reno. What happens in Reno, sometimes stays in Reno.

Shirley had an uncanny ability to reach people in a deep and meaningful way as was demonstrated by the outpouring of love during her final days.

Shirley is survived by her son Donovan Bigelow, (Lisa), daughter Vickie Bigelow, (Marc), “second daughter,” Julie Evans, granddaughter Claire Silvey and family, granddaughter Victoria Orcutt and family.  Special thanks to these 6 adoring nieces for their exceptional loving visits and care: Brenda Martens, (Thom), Jamie Jones, (Daniel), Jeanne Zinsli, Shannon Jones, (Jill), Judy Parkins, (Tony), Neva Tinker, (Jacque and Ben).

Thank you to all her special friends that visited her in her final weeks and made a point to stay in touch. Thanks to Erik and Ricky Rosalez for their loving assistance at her apartment. Thank you to Phil Van, Mom’s hairdresser of 16 yrs for making house calls. You made her days brighter!

And thank you to the outstanding team at Tri-Cities Chaplaincy for their tender loving care and compassion! We are grateful for their support! Thank you to Nurse Sherry, who was a Godsend.

She looked forward to being reunited with those that passed before her including Charlie, her folks, siblings, her beloved dogs Rocky, Rocky 2, and Kaiser as well as the other family members, classmates, and friends!

The celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at The Redeemer Lutheran Church in Richland on July 13, 2024 at 1 pm.

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Shirley Bigelow

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  • Vickie and Don Bigelow
    So sorry about Shirley. I know that good memories will carry you forward. She was a great lady, I wish I had been able to visit with her at lunch when she was still with us.

    I have a second reason for making contact with you. I lost my car today with a blown piston. Am wondering if you have something in mind for her car.

    Call me at 509-628-1656 if interested..

    Will see you Saturday..

    John Funk
    July 8, 2024
    Richland, WA
  • Aunt Shirley , our 3-13 Queen forever. So many wonderful memories in Richland playing cards to spilling red wine on her Christmas tablecloth and then washing it out by using carpet cleaner by mistake., with came out great. There has been many laughs over that moment . One of many special memories. Let’s not forget the thousands of tacos she’s made for family and friends over the years. A vacation to Reno and having martinis in a piano bar, and as we got up to leave, everybody whistled and said what beautiful legs she had . We will miss her happy, joyful and fun personality.

    Neva / Jacque
    June 30, 2024
  • I am so sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing. She was such an amazing person. Always had a smile and a kind word. She was an excellent secretary. She will be missed.

    Betty Wickersham
    June 29, 2024
    Richlalnd WA
  • So glad to have been able to have known you as my classmate and friend for over 70 years. You will be missed.

    Sandra George
    June 24, 2024
    Richland, WA
  • So glad to have been able to call you my classmate and friend for over 70 years. You will be missed.

    Sandra S George
    June 24, 2024
  • Remembers Shirley always smiling at Lewis and Clark

    Gil Gilstrap
    June 22, 2024
    Elma wa
  • Don and Vickie, sorry for your loss.

    Winston McCulley
    June 22, 2024
  • Bigelow family,

    We are so sorry to hear this. We have so many fond memories of Shirley and Chuck. She was such a wonderful lady and we loved chatting with her. We will miss her.

    Cathy and Rick Poynor
    June 21, 2024
    Richland, WA
  • So sorry for your loss, Don and Vickie.

    Kevin Ryan
    June 21, 2024
    Mill Creek, WA.
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