Mary Lelia Bigler

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Mary Lelia Bigler
April 1, 1933 - April 1, 2018
Mary Lelia (Harris) Bigler of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, her 88th birthday. She was born to James Marcellus Harris and Mary Frances Harris in 1930 in Leeton, Missouri, on April Fools' Day, a source of perennial amusement. Her family moved by train from their Missouri farm to Colorado Springs in 1936. She attended local schools, including Colorado Springs High School (Palmer) until her marriage to Edgar Clarkson Bigler, Jr. The 15-year-old bride's wedding to her WWII B-17 tail gunner husband took place on December 22, 1945, at the original historic Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colorado.
As a young mother, Mary was a homemaker, military wife, and active volunteer with the Girl and Boy Scouts of America. She was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, taught Sunday School, sponsored the youth group, and sang solos in a clear high soprano voice for many years. Upon the premature death of her husband less than a week following his 50th birthday, Mary went to work outside the home. With a young daughter still at home, she worked at Sears while successfully studying to obtain her GED, an Associate's degree, and a Bachelor's degree in education from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). She taught at Hunt Elementary School for 10 years, while also working weekends at Sears. Mary could reel off the features of nearly every Black & Decker tool and appliance, but the technological advent of the hand-held point-of-sale computer tablet, to her great disappointment, ended her remarkable tenure as "the tool lady" and she retired from Sears at age 83. Mary loved music and poetry, gardening and flowers, teaching, and the arts. She was intellectually curious and a faithful reader of the Gazette Telegraph until the day she died.
Mary is survived by her son, the Rev. Edgar C. (Janet) Bigler III, of Sterling, Colorado; and her daughter, Beth Noel (Steve) Gomez and grandson, Timothy Richard Gydesen of Rockvale, Colorado; granddaughter, Crystal Nichole Stucker (Christopher Lehman) and great-granddaughters, Anna Marie Lehman and Alyssa Catherine Lehman of Vallejo, California; grandson, Craig Scott (Laura) Stucker II, and great-grandson, Colin Glade Stucker of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland; and grandson, Kevin Allen Widmoyer of Colorado Springs. Also surviving are daughter, Frances Rosetta (Bigler) Beasley; grandchildren, Theodore, Jonathan, and Dawn, and their children and grandchild.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter, Edwina (Deana) Marie (Bigler) Durham; sister, Laura Frances (Harris) Pelletiaire; and great-granddaughter, Novallee Jan Beasley. The family gratefully acknowledges the faithful friendship of Judy Gearhart and Shirley Stearns, and wishes to thank Tina Reynolds and the loving staff at Brookdale Palmer Park for their compassionate care; Pikes Peak Hospice, and Rocky Mountain PACE.
A memorial service will be held at Swan-Law Funeral Home, 501 N Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday, April 13, 2018, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Steve Burnett and the Rev. Ed Bigler, III, officiating. Private interment of ashes will be at Evergreen Cemetery.
Condolences and memorial donations to The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, may be sent in care of Swan-Law funeral home at 501 N Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Published in The Gazette on Apr. 8, 2018
Arrangements under the direction of:
Swan-Law Funeral Directors
501 North Cascade Avenue | Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | (719) 471-9900
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