Gloria Jane Bigelow, 80, of Gwinn, died peacefully Sunday evening, March 29, 2020 at her home, surrounded by family and under the care of UP Home Health & Hospice.
She was born October 11, 1939, in Allentown, PA, the only child of Joseph and Martha (Lucas) Haas. She attended Our Lady Help of Christians Grade School and graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School in 1957.
Following graduation, she was hired by the catholic school to serve in the Central Office as a secretary and worked there until 1961 when she married David Bigelow and raised three children.
Gloria resided in Louisville, KY and Indianapolis, IN until 1967 when she moved to Gwinn and had resided there since.
She was employed by the Gwinn Area Community Schools as an administrative assistant beginning in 1971 until her retirement in June of 1999.
Gloria served on the Gwinn School Board of Education from 2003 to 2015. She served as Secretary and Board President for two years. She was a member, membership chairperson and Treasurer for the Forsyth Township Historical Society, the President of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, St. Anthony Catholic Church and their Altar Society, Gwinn Study Club, UP Field Archery Association, Buckskin Bowmen and was a supporter of UPAWS.
She enjoyed traveling, attending auctions, spending time with her children and grandchildren and she loved her dogs.
Gloria is survived by three children, Michael (Susie) Bigelow of North Muskegon, MI, Jessica Flinn of Gwinn and John (Susan) Bigelow of Charlestown, IN; 11 grandchildren, Amanda Flinn of Greenwood, IN, Brandi Flinn in the US Coast Guard, Erik Flinn of Marquette, Alex Flinn of Gwinn, Suzann Bigelow of Northville, MI, Sarah Bigelow of West Lafayette, IN, Olivia Bigelow of Auburn Hills, MI, Bryan Bigelow of North Muskegon, MI, David (Kelsey) Bigelow of Henryville, IN, Kaleighla Bigelow and Grace Bigelow, both of Charlestown, IN; great-grandchild, Samuel Bigelow of Henryville, IN; and her constant companion dog, Charlie. She was preceded in death by her parents, former husband, and fiancé Allen Ahola.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 11 am at St. Anthony Catholic Church with Rev. Allen Mott officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 am until the time of the Mass in the religious education room in the church. Due to COVID-19 precautions, facemasks are required. Interment will take place in the Gwinn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to UPAWS, PO Box 968, Marquette, MI 49855.
The Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com
" Thank you Gloria for your tireless dedication to employees, both retired and active, in public education. Your service to our Marquette Area Chapter of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel is truly inspirational. As our local President for many years, you did not let your physical condition stop you and you continued to keep us in touch with one another and with the state organization through emails and phone calls to the very very end. Your strength of purpose never failed.
We , the local MARSP membership, will honor our President Gloria Bigelow?s memory throughout the day on April 13 via Public Radio 90.
On behalf of our members, we send our sincere sympathy to Gloria?s family. Although we will be unable to express our gratitude and sympathy in person, know that Gloria?s many friends at MARSP have you in our thoughts.
Marquette Area MARSP Board of Directors
"My condolences to Gloria\'s family. May she rest in peace and soar with the angels."
"I had the pleasure of working with Gloria with she served on the UPAWS Board of Directors from 1989-91. Since then I would run into her now and again and she always loved talking about her dogs. She was a compassionate woman and advocate for the animals. "
"To the family of Gloria - my sincere condolences in the loss of a wonderful woman. I knew Gloria when I taught in Gwinn and then in later years when I was an administrator at Marquette Alger RESA she attended our school board trainings. She was always smiling and we shared a lot of laughs/stories over the years. She will be missed. Rest In Peace Gloria.
"Sincere sympathy to the Bigelow family. Always a joy to converse with her, very knowledgeable."
"Dr. A\'s secretary. Always helpful and pleasant. She will not be forgotten. A plus for the Gwinn School system. "
"My condolences to Gloria\'s family. She was always willing to go \"above and beyond\"and very helpful to me when I was an administrator at Gwinn Area Community schools. She was very talented and hard working and a great help to me.
"I am so sorry to hear of this! I remember Gloria as a secretary for the Gwinn Scools for many years. She was always a joy to be around and she laughed so easily! She was always a help when I served as a board member for those years and she will me remembered always! I wish there was room here to mention some of the memorable moments that we laughed about, or was always fun when she was there! RIP dear lady!"