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James E. "Jim" Biggins

Biggins, James E. "Jim" 78, of Manatee County, Florida, died October 2nd at home. He was born in Joliet Illinois, the son of the late James John and Elizabeth Henrietta Kohley Biggins. An avid entrepreneur all of his life, he was a talented master mechanic, aviator, motorcycle enthusiast, successful business owner and genuine pillar of the community. Following his graduation in 1953 from Joliet Catholic High School he served in the Marine Corp during the Korean War. Survived by four children with wife, Shirley: James J., Michael R. (Elizabeth), Kristin R., and Kimberly R. (Stephen) and 6 adoring grandchildren, Ann-Marie Biggins, Elizabeth Cornwell, James "Jimmy" Biggins, Ella Biggins, Finndan Norton and Shepherd Norton. A beloved father and enthusiastic grandfather, he loved and was loved dearly by his family. A kind brother to 3 sisters, Mary Kinzler (Gordon), Elizabeth Connor (the late Patrick), Cathi and 2 brothers, Edward (Sue) and William. His pioneering and adventurous spirit led him to Florida in the early 70's with his lifelong best friends, Joe Whalen, the late Jim Chully, and their families. The result of his decision to move was reflected each morning with a simple phrase, "another beautiful day in paradise". Born a fiery Irishman, he was a dear friend to many, generous to all, and driven by passion. Many stories will be told of his gallant adventures and bold sense of humor. He will be missed. A memorial mass will be held to celebrate his life on Saturday, October 26th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Raymond's Cathedral in Joliet, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Mary and Martha House for abused women and children, P.O. Box 1251, Ruskin, FL 33575.

Published in The Herald-News on Oct. 6, 2013
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