Family and friends deeply mourn the passing of Bradenton, Florida, resident Carolyn Rose Bigham, who died following an unexpected illness in Gresham, Oregon. She passed away peacefully in her apartment there on the morning of her 87th birthday, while in hospice care.
Mrs. Bigham - whom everyone called Carol - was the widow of artist and businessman John C. Bigham, a Batesville native known for his evocative water colors of Florida scenes, including Linger Lodge.
Carol was one of nine children and the eldest girl born to Leroy and Estelle Brinkman of Ohio. Following her mother's death from tuberculosis, in her mid-teens Carol was sent to live in the care of local Franciscan nuns in Batesville. It was there she met and later married her high school sweetheart, John C. Bigham, with whom she had four children. They resided in Batesville until the mid-1960s when the family relocated to Florida.
Utilizing skills first acquired at an after-school job while still in her teens, Carol had a long career as an X-ray technician and medical office manager, first in Indiana and then in Florida. She began a second career in real estate after retirement age, and was actively selling well into her 80s. Known for her love of birds and flowers, as well as her beautiful long silver braid, Carol was for years a fixture at Peaches Cafe on Manatee Avenue during the breakfast hour. Friends and neighbors will miss her ready smile and sense of humor.
Carol is survived by her youngest sister Gloria Becker of Ohio, and her youngest sister-in-law Mary J. Biehl of Bradenton, Florida; her four children Georgia Erdenberger of Portland, Oregon, Abra Bigham of New York City, John C. Bigham III of Los Angeles, and Meri Erickson of Bradenton; numerous nieces and nephews; four beautiful and talented granddaughters; and three most impressive great-granddaughters who carry her spirit and determination into the future.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests donations be made in memory of Carol and John Bigham to The Honeybee Conservancy (thehoneybeeconservancy.org).
Published on August 17, 2016