Mr. Willie Gene Bigelow, Sr. (72) passed away on December 17, 2020 at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC. He was born to the late James Bigelow and Myrtle Thaxton Bigelow on October 17, 1948. He attended Graham High School in Graham, North Carolina and began working in various manufacturing, construction and warehousing roles with Burlington Industries, Bossett Brothers Construction and Alexander Fabrics respectively. He resided in Burlington, NC and was known by many of his friends as “Willie Gene” before becoming a resident at El Bethel Family Care Home in Gibsonville, NC. While there he demonstrated his wit, his keen awareness and his signature personality and was affectionately nicknamed “The Governor.”
Willie loved his family and cared so much about his nieces and nephews who kept his spirit young and alive. He was often referred to as “Unk” because he had a genuine way of connecting and relating to each one of them in his own unique way. He didn’t mind hard work and preferred to be outdoors painting, gardening or building just about anything. He was a helpful hand when called upon. His favorite things were a good home-cooked meal, vanilla milkshakes, Mary Jane candy, cookies, a nice suit and a spotless clean, smooth driving car. While he was met with the peaks and valleys of life -- in faith he endured.
He held so much pride and joy for his two children who he leaves to cherish his memory; Sonya Bigelow-Smith (Kemanii) of Bowie, MD and Willie Gene Bigelow, Jr (Lorrie) of Mebane, NC. They’ve continued to bless his life with two grandsons; Jamie L. Newman and Kendall K. Smith. Additionally, he leaves four sisters; Roberta Baynes of Orange, NJ, Barbara Wyatt of Greensboro, NC, Maxine Hooker of Burlington, NC, Judy Wright (Floyd) of Mebane, NC – three brothers; Lawrence (Patricia) Bigelow of Mebane, NC, Garland Bigelow of Burlington, NC, Dale Bigelow of Burlington, NC and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and close friends. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two siblings; Dorothy Enoch of Washington, DC and James Hasting Bigelow of New York, NY.
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