BALLINGER Oran Wesley Bigby, 94, of Ballinger, passed away Saturday, July 19, 2014, in a Big Spring nursing center. He was born Aug. 4, 1919, to John Wesley and Sarah "Sadie" Elizabeth (Douglass) Bigby, the youngest of seven children, on the Bigby Ranch in Ballinger. While attending Texas A&M University, Oran met his future wife, Mildred Mund, of Eldorado. She attended Texas Woman's University and was a roommate of Oran's sister. In 1944, he was drafted into the Army, where he served in the European Theater of Operations for 16 months and participated in front line combat. He finished out his enlistment as a member of the 115th Field Artillery Battalion, serving as chief clerk in motor pool and directed the driving activities of 250 drivers. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He then continued his education at Texas A&M and on Dec. 26, 1947, he married Mildred in Eldorado. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1948. Mildred and Oran lived on the Bigby Ranch where Oran raised registered Rambouillet sheep, entering them in numerous local and regional shows. He won many top prizes. He was active in 4H and he taught agriculture to veterans. In 2007, the Bigby Ranch received the Family Land Heritage Award from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. The honor is given to families who have operated their ranch or farm continuously for 100 years. Oran was a very active member of the Ballinger Masonic Lodge #643. He was member for over 47 years receiving numerous awards and titles including but not limited to: Raised Master Mason in September 1966; Worshipful Master 1970-1971; Golden Trowel Award April 1996; Worthy Patron, Ballinger Chapter #266, Order of the Eastern Star 1972-1973; obtained York Rite degrees, March 1974; 32nd Degree Mason, Waco Consistory Scottish Rite, December 1979; KCCH Oct 1997; 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary, November 1997; Waco Council Kadosh 1993; McCall Award 2011; Suez Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of San Angelo August 1977; permanent member Shiners Hospital for Crippled Children; and District Deputy Grand Master, Masonic District 105, Grand Lodge of Texas, 1980. During his years with the Masonic Lodge, Oran helped numerous children receive special medical attention at Scottish Rite Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents; and six siblings, Ola "Thelma" Stephens, Walter Nathaniel Bigby, Nellie Emily Hays, Johnny Douglass Bigby, Mabel Elizabeth Worsham and Mary "Ione" Reed. He is survived by his wife, Mildred, of Ballinger; daughters Mildred Ann Chambers and husband Don, Sylvia Jane Sebolt and husband Billy, all of Bulverde, and Nancy Faye Rhodes and husband Jim of Forsan. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Margaret Paige Sebolt, Ashlyn Bailey Chambers, Holly Brooke Sebolt, Elizabeth Leeann Rhodes and Dakota Gray Chambers; and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation for family and friends will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, July 21, at Lange Funeral Home. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 22, at First United Methodist Church in Ballinger. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery with Masonic graveside rites. The family requests that memorials be made to Scottish Rite Hospital; First United Methodist Church in Ballinger; or
. Arrangements are with Lange Funeral Home.
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Lange Funeral Home
908 8Th St Ballinger, TX 76821
Published in GoSanAngelo from July 22 to July 23, 2014