Col. James E.
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Bigelow II, 71
(Ret. Infantry, U.S. Army)
SCARBOROUGH -- James Edward Bigelow II, 71, of Naples, passed away peacefully on Oct. 9, 2013, at the Maine Veteran's Home in Scarborough, after a long battle with diabetic complications.
Jim was born on July 5, 1942, in Bellows Falls, Vt., the son of James and Anita Bigelow. Jim graduated class president of Bellows Falls High School in 1960 and graduated a proud member of the Class of 1964 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also earned a master's degree in Government from Western Kentucky University in 1969.
Jim married his wife of 48 years, Jeanne Marie (Sullivan) of Salem, N.H., on Oct. 16, 1965. A career Army officer, Jim served two tours in Vietnam from 1966-67 and 1970-71 and earned two Bronze Stars for Meritorious Service. After Vietnam, he served his country in various duty stations both nationally and internationally. He was the Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment in Fort Hood, Texas. He graduated and taught at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. His final assignment was as the Commander of Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jim retired from the Army as a Colonel in 1990 after almost 30 years of service. He lived in Cape Elizabeth, then worked with Ross Perot as Director of Operations for 'United, We Stand' for the states of New York and Vermont. He was active as both a chaperone and advisor for teens in his wife Jeanne's State-wide Catholic Youth Ministry.
Jim and Jeanne 'settled' in their lake home in Naples in 2001. Jim worked for the state of Maine as a Veterans Service Officer for 10 years, retiring together with Jeanne in 2008.
He enjoyed spending time with his family, watching his favorite team - the New York Yankees, and exploring Maine's cuisine. He also loved their new second home in Florida. He was an excellent speaker and active in Toastmasters, specializing in speaking at Veterans events. He served as a member of Naples' Causeway Restoration committee and on the Board of Directors for his condo community.
Jim may be best known for his pleasure in challenging others to grow and thrive by recognizing their own gifts and challenging them to exceed their expectations and strive to excel.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James and Anita Bigelow; and his sister, Mary Ellen Bigelow. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Bigelow; his children, Benjamin (wife Jules), Nathaniel (wife Melissa), and Mary; his grandchildren, Christina Courtright, Jonathan Doering, Colby Tremblay, Jesse James Bigelow and Blake Bigelow; and his brother Jerry.
A viewing will be held at Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, 8 Elm St., in Bridgton on Friday, Oct. 18, from 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bridgton on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m., and he will be buried at West Point, N.Y. on Oct. 21, at 1:30 p.m. All who wish to attend are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, memorial
donations can be made to:
The Maine Veterans Home
290 U.S. Rte 1
Scarborough, Maine 04074
James E. Bigelow II
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 16, 2013