Farewell to Janet Bigelow
Prince George, B.C. – A lifelong resident of Prince George who believed in community and was described as having served it well brought the community together once again on Saturday.
Members of her large family, friends, co-workers, fellow parishioners and others wishing to pay their respects filled Sacred Heart Cathedral for the funeral service for Janet Bigelow. Born in Prince George in 1960, Janet passed away in Vancouver on August 11th, 2017 after waging war against acute myeloid leukemia.
She was described as having an endless commitment to family and community, a person who shared her smile and enthusiasm with everyone she met. In his eulogy, brother-in-law Tony Matthews said there would be tears “but there’s going to be laughter, a lot of laughter.” He mentioned a prayer service that was held Friday night and how, afterward, person after person repeated phrases like “she was the strongest person I’ve ever met”, “she was so full of life”, “she was very spiritual” and how co-workers respected her and said “how nice she was to work with and how good she was with her union stuff.”
Janet Bigelow had led CUPE Local 1048, representing inside workers at the City of Prince George, since 2011. Mayor Lyn Hall, City Manager Kathleen Soltis and some councillors attended the service to pay their respects.
Matthews said his sister-in-law had many loves such as gardening, reading, baking and bargain hunting. “I heard there’s not a safe chair in Prince George, she’d buy them all.” He relayed many humorous family stories that had Janet as the central character, the hilarity a reflection of her infectious personality.
“Friends and co-workers talked about how in control she was, how she took control of a lot of stuff.” “She was a sister-in-law who was focussed, generous, forthright and her wisdom and leadership will long be remembered. We will remember Janet because she won’t let us forget, we all know that. She was deeply loved and respected and was a big part of all our lives.”
Very Reverend Rectorino Tolentino told the gathering that “Janet, as far as I have heard from the different people who have shared words or remembrance, knows that time is valuable and of essence. She spent her time on earth (emphasizing) to you all that human beings are good. She shared her time, talent and even resources with the civic society and church community.”
“You know last night, as I assisted in closing the church one of the ladies mentioned, while looking at Janet’s picture, “she will not have a problem getting along with everybody up there, she’s a beautiful lady, she will be friends with everybody.”
Her favourite song, Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle”, echoed through the cathedral.
Janet Bigelow is survived by her husband Bob and children Ben, Lyndsay, Kirsten and Jackson and predeceased by daughter Dallas. She is also survived by her parents, six sisters and their spouses and many, many relatives.
Interment followed at Prince George Memorial Park Cemetery.