Robert Clair Bigford
MARCH 13, 1937 – DECEMBER 7, 2022
Robert Clair Bigford, age 85, most recently of Copperas Cove, TX, passed away the morning of 7 December 2022, in his home from complications due to stroke.
Robert was born 13 March 1937 to Albert Clair Wallace Bigford and Esther Emily (nee Johnson) Bigford in Jackson, Michigan. The oldest of nine children and growing up in a poor family during the depression did not stop Robert from seeking every opportunity to educate himself and better his life. Robert graduated from Olivet High School in 1956 and six days later joined the United States Air Force as a fighter aircraft mechanic. He was a 55-year member of the Freemasons and decades long member of the Scottish Rite. A year after joining the military Robert married his high school sweetheart, Judy Ellen Stewart, in 1957. They had three sons (Stewart, Scott, and Steven) and had a long, happy, and exciting 50-year marriage.
Robert spent 21 years in the United States Air Force, including two tours in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, retired in 1977 as a Master Sergeant, and worked a number of jobs in the following years including grocery store manager, Security Officer, Department of Defense Police Officer, and Orange County (Florida) Police Officer. Robert loved being around his family and friends anytime & anywhere, and always had a story or two to tell.
Robert is survived by his three sons and their wives (Stewart & Patricia, Scott & Marylee, and Steven & Hope), 10 Grandchildren (Paula, Kyle, Sarah, Robert II, Brandon, Travis, Shaun, Nicole, Christina, and Sabrina), 15 Great-Grandchildren, and five siblings (Raymond, David, Marilyn, Shirley, Albert). He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, two brothers and a sister.
Per Robert’s request there is no service nor visitation at this time. However, in the spring of next year the family is planning a memorial service and celebration of his life for family and friends which will take place in Michigan, followed by his interment at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.
Friends and family wishing to honor Robert’s lifelong commitment to family, community, and especially children can make donations to the Shriners Children’s Hospital Charities at https://www.shrinerschildrens.org/en/giving .
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.crawfordbowerscopperascove.com for the Bigford family.