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BIGELOW, Brien James

Brien James Bigelow, 75, passed on to eternal life peacefully at his home in Whittier, CA at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday May 24, 2017 after a courageous battle with illness. He was in the company of his beloved wife Eileen, and the rest of the family gathered quickly thereafter at the family home.

Brien was born on April 7, 1942, in South Buffalo, New York. He was the son of Robert and Mary (O'Brien) Bigelow. He attended Bishop Timon High School in the South Buffalo area from which he graduated in 1959. Brien went on to attend college at Cortland State University in New York, from which he graduated in 1963. Shortly after graduation from college Brien set out for California, where through family connections he was introduced to Eileen Murphy, fell in love, and married quickly thereafter in July 1965.

Brien worked as a schoolteacher as a young man, but found his natural skills and tremendous drive well suited to the business world and sales. He worked for Johnson & Johnson in the pharmaceutical industry, and eventually formed a hospital supply business that became known as National Hospital Packaging for which he served as the founder, President and CEO for many years. The company continues to operate under the stewardship of daughter Kathryn to this day. Brien was a gifted athlete who excelled at baseball, tennis and golf, and he was a fierce competitor.

Brien's greatest love and commitment was to his cherished wife of 52 years Eileen, and to their six children and 4 children's spouses- Ruth (sp. Mark), Brien, Matthew (sp. Elizabeth), Kathryn, Nicholas (sp. Sarah) and Timothy (sp. Rebecca)- and to their nine grandchildren - Katy, Morgan, Suzanne, Shannon, Jolenne, Emily, Siobhan, Edward, and Mary. Brien spent countless hours and activities with the large family he loved and that dearly loved him back, including sponsoring a trip for the whole family to Ireland to celebrate Brien and Eileen's 50th wedding anniversary. This was one of many examples of his boundless generosity.

In addition to his wife Eileen, children and grandchildren, Brien is survived by siblings Bill, Jane, Paul, Joyce, Bob, Jeannie and Marie.

Services will be held on Thursday June 1, 2017 at at 10:30 a.m. At Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, 1345 Turnbull Canyon Road, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745. A reception will immediately follow at Friendly Hills Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution can be made to: St. John Vianney Rise Again Campaign (626) 330-2269 or to Mount Saint Mary's University General Fund (213) 477-2536.
Published in Whittier Daily News on May 31, 2017
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