David Lee Bigelow

ARNOLD – David Lee Bigelow, 75, of Arnold, Mich., and Thebes, Ill., passed away on Sept. 6, 2013, in Thebes after a long courageous battle with cancer with his beloved companion of 23 years, Meridy Sundholm, and his brother, Les Bigelow, by his side.

He was born on May 4, 1938, in Louisville, Ky., and was the son of Earl and Mildred (Schehr) Bigelow. David attended school in Fern Creek, Ky., and was a member of the graduating Class of 1956. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy in March of 1957 and served as a communication specialist aboard the USS Rochester and USS Platte, and was honorably discharged in April of 1961. In 1967, he moved to Gwinn, Mich., and was employed with the Federal Civil Service at K.I. Sawyer AFB as an electronic specialist.

David was very passionate about archery and bow hunting and actively served the Michigan Bow Hunters Association and the Upper Peninsula Field Archery Association. Over the years, he won numerous awards and recognitions, most notably Michigan Bow Hunter of the Year and Master Bow Hunter. He was also given a lifetime membership by the Michigan Bow Hunters. David was instrumental in starting the Indian Trails Bowmen Archery Club in Gwinn, and also the Buckskin Bowmen Archery Club where he also was honored to receive their first lifetime membership. The Buckskin Bowmen Archery Club has maintained that name along with the logo and patch that David designed with the recent renewed interest in archery in the area. He was also an active and successful drag racer participating in numerous Super Chevy Shows, receiving three consecutive awards for Editor’s Choice Top Ten Drag Car, and in the National Muscle Car Association events for many years with his 1979 El Camino that he fondly called LMeanO. Through these shared passions, David has touched many lives and developed many lasting memories and friendships. He will be greatly missed, especially by his brothers Les and Steve and sister Mary Lou who raced with and against him and shared his passion for drag racing, and his beloved Meridy who served as his crew chief.

David is survived by: beloved companion, Meridy Sundholm, Arnold, Mich.; children, Michael (Susie) Bigelow, Rockford, Mich., Jessica “Jessie” Flinn, Gwinn, Mich., and John (Susan) Bigelow, Charlestown, Ind.; sister, Mary Lou (Carl) Smith, Okeechobee, Fla.; brothers, Steve (Jody) Bigelow, Athens, Tenn., and Les (Judy) Bigelow, Mt. Eden, Ky; grandchildren, Amanda, Brandi, Erik, and Alex Flinn, Suzann, Sarah, Olivia, and Bryan Bigelow, David (Kelsey) Bigelow, Kaleila and Grace Bigelow; Meridy’s children, Sean (Celina) Sundholm and Betsy (Derek Pogirski) Sundholm; Meridy’s grandchildren, Elayna, Shawna, and Marty Sundholm; several nieces, nephews and many friends especially, Jim Monahan and his family in Thebes, Ill.,, and his hunting buddies from Camp Porky.

In addition to his parents Earl and Mildred, he was preceded in death by his brother Joseph “Buddy” and sister-in-law Barbara Bigelow, all of Louisville, Ky.

David loved life and lived it to his fullest each and every day. With this in mind, his family and loved ones will be celebrating a ceremony of remembrance with a visitation on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Wells Township Hall in Arnold, Mich., (County Road 426) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. (Eastern). Funeral services celebrating the life of David Lee Bigelow will follow at 11:30 a.m. with Chaplain Randy Ferrell of the National Muscle Car Association officiating. Interment will take place in the Forest Home Cemetery in Watson with the VFW Post 5670 of Gwinn conducting military rites. A luncheon will be served in the township hall at the conclusion of the burial service.

It is David’s wish to have anyone who attends to dress in camouflage or racing clothing if you are able. His pallbearers will be Scott Johnson, Rodney Perreault, Jerry Jensen, John Clark, Bernie Stiritz, Sean Sundholm, Jeff Larson, Dave Dodendorf, and honorary pall bearer Randy Smith.

The family wishes to gratefully express sincere and heartfelt thanks to Meridy for the loving care she provided David through his illness.

Those wishing to offer a memorial in David’s honor are kindly asked to consider a contribution to the Gwinn Buckskin Bowmen Archery club. The family has entrusted the Anderson Funeral Homes of Escanaba and Gladstone. Expressions of sympathy and online condolences may be directed to the Bigelow family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.