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BIGLEY Vice Admiral THOMAS J. BIGLEY USN (Ret.) Vice Admiral Thomas J. Bigley, USN (Ret), 86, who died January 27, 2014, will be buried with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, following a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 12:45 p.m. in The Old Post Chapel, Ft. Myer, VA. Thomas Joseph Bigley, born in Everett, MA on September 16, 1927, was the son of Mary Burns Bigley and William Charles Bigley. Upon graduation from Everett High School in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy; entered the Naval Academy on a Fleet Appointment a year later; and graduated in June 1950. His first assignment was to USS ENGLISH (DD 696) followed by four submarines: USS AMBERJACK (SS 522), USS ATULE (SS 403), and USS TANG (SS 563), and as commanding officer of USS BREAM (SS 243). He served on three submarine staffs and in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1965 he received a Master of Arts degree from the American University School of International Service. After assignment as Aide to the Chief of Naval Operations (1965-67), he attended the National War College; served (1968-70) as Commanding Officer of the USS SAMPSON (DDG-10); and returned to Washington as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Selected for Rear Admiral in 1972, his first "flag" assignment was Director East Asia Pacific Region, Office of the Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs). In February 1975 he assumed command of the Middle East Force in the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean, during which time he was active in negotiations that resulted in the continued presence of the U.S. Navy in Bahrain. In 2004, he was presented the Bahrain Order-First Class in appreciation for his efforts in strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Promoted to Vice Admiral in 1976, he served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (1976-78); Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics (1978-79); Commander U. S. Second Fleet and NATO's Striking Fleet Atlantic (1979-81); and as Director for Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Chiefs of Staff (1981-83). His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit (4); and the Navy Commendation Medal. Retiring after 38 years in uniform, he joined Burdeshaw Associates, Ltd. as VP Navy Programs (1983-89) and Eastman Kodak Company Federal Systems Division in the Washington office as Manager, Navy Programs, and Director, Field Operations for Commercial & Government Systems (1989-1994). He was a member of the Navy Submarine League, Surface Navy Association, the U.S. Naval Academy and National War College Alumni Associations, and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. He served as President of the American Bahraini Friendship Society and a Director Emeritus of the Navy League of the U.S. National Capital Council. Active for many years on the Sea Services Committee at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, he was also devoted to Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. Predeceased March 4, 2000 by his wife of nearly fifty years, Ann Harrington Bigley of Washington, DC; he is survived by his wife, Bela Block Bigley; his three daughters, Ann Bigley Robertson (James), Mary Bigley Jones (Gregg) and Katherine Bigley Christie (Stephen), five grandchildren and his sister, Jean Bigley Campbell.Predeceased March 4, 2000 by his wife of nearly fifty years, Ann Harrington Bigley of Washington, DC; he is survived by his wife, Bela Block Bigley; his three daughters, Ann Bigley Robertson (James), Mary Bigley Jones (Gregg) and Katherine Bigley Christie (Stephen), five grandchildren and his sister, Jean Bigley Campbell.
Published in The Washington Post from June 14 to June 16, 2014