Lewis R Bigler, 90, of Goshen went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the Maples at Waterford Crossing. Louie had suffered with Parkinson’s disease for several years.
He was born on March 20, 1928 in Elkhart to the late Carl and Rose (Rockenbaugh) Bigler. He met his wife, Jane Lou Bigler, while in high school when he played basketball for Elkhart High School and Jane was a cheerleader for the opposing team, Nappanee. Jane noticed that she had the same last name as a player on the opposing team and came over to introduce herself to Louie at half time. Louie and Jane ended up being married on November 21, 1948. Sadly, Jane died suddenly of a brain aneurism on December 5, 1957. They had two children, Kathy (John) Coleman and James (Heidi) Bigler, both of Elkhart, who survive.
On April 16, 1960, Louie married Phyllis Jean Rans at Dunlap United Methodist Church in Elkhart and they also had two children, David Bigler of Indianapolis and Cynthia (Barry) Grife of Little Gasparilla Island, FL.
Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Michael Coleman, Elkhart; Virginia (Jim) Burns, White Pigeon, MI; Brett (Brinnan) Bigler, Noblesville; Nick (Lauren) Bigler, Fishers; Alison (Jonathan) Engle, West Lafayette; Jonathan Grife, Elkhart and Justine (John) Bauer of Osceola as well as many great grandchildren and a sister, Jean Hampel of Ft. Wayne, IN.
Louie worked at Dumor Chairs in Elkhart in the early years. With the encouragement of Phyllis, he took courses in accounting and eventually got a job in the audit department of St. Joseph Valley Bank. He later worked as an accountant for Dometic in Elkhart and also at Myers Menswear in Elkhart. Along the way, Louie was encouraged by a boss and mentor to start his own tax business out of his home. Louie was a hard worker, often holding down three jobs at once. In 1991, his daughter Kathy and son-in-law, John Coleman, moved to Elkhart from South Carolina and began helping Louie with the tax business, now called Bigler-Coleman Tax Service. Many tax clients still bring in their taxes and ask, “How’s your dad?”, “How’s Mr. Bigler?”, “Tell Louie I said ‘hi’.”
Louie was a member of Grace Bible Church from 1960-1971 and later became a member of First Baptist Church in Elkhart from 1971 to the present. Over the years he served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon.
In his retirement years, Louie loved playing golf with his buddies at Bent Oak Golf Club in Elkhart. Louie and Phyllis also enjoyed traveling and seeing the world together. Their favorite sights were Hawaii, Israel and trips to Myrtle Beach with their children and grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Harbor Light Hospice and especially the staff at The Maples at Waterford Crossing for their wonderful, kind and loving care for both Louie and Phyllis in the final years of their lives. The staff there have truly been a great blessing to all of us.
Visitation will take place Sunday, October 28th from 1:00 p.m. until the hour of the service at 3:00 p.m. at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. The Rev. Dr. John Blodgett of First Baptist Church will officiate and burial will take place at a later date in Prairie Street Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in memory of Louie may be made to the First Baptist Church 53953 C. R. 17 Bristol, IN 46507.
1st Baptist Church
53953 County Road 17, Br IN 46507