Jeanne R. Bigger Obituary | Chattanooga Times Free Press

Jeanne R. Bigger Obituary | Chattanooga Times Free Press

Photo of Jeanne R. Bigger

Jeanne R. Bigger
Jeanne Ridgway Bigger was born 98 years ago in the St. Louis area and departed this life on Flag Day, June 14, 2023, at Franklin Manor Assisted Living facility in Winchester, Tenn. She lived most of her adult life in Tullahoma and Winchester, Tenn.
She had a loving 60 year marriage with her husband, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ogden Bigger, before he passed 13 years ago. She raised three wonderful sons during this union. Daniel Joe Bigger, now deceased, Thomas Ridgway Bigger, residing in Hixson, Tenn. with his wife Janice Sons Bigger, and their third son Shevlin Brooks Bigger, now deceased as well. She had two grandchildren Daniel Huffman Bigger, and Natalie Bigger Davis. She is also survived by a dear brother Joseph Thomas Ridgway and three special nieces, Suzanne Shevlin Young, Paula Joe Ridgway-Elson and Cheri Ridgway Somraty. Jeanne also had several beloved nieces and nephews.
Jeanne was a graduate of the Institute of Historical and Genealogical Research in Washington DC and Samford University in Birmingham. She also completed an interior design course in Tullahoma, Tennessee. After attending modeling school in St. Louis, she later modeled in Indianapolis, New York City, St. Louis, Tullahoma, and had several events on Nashville television, along with other modeling assignments across Tenn.
She lectured with her extensive genealogical knowledge in DC, San Francisco, Indiana, Oklahoma, and all throughout the state of Tennessee. Jeanne taught a genealogical continuing education course at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma for seven years.
Jeanne had genealogical articles published throughout Tennessee as well as North Carolina, Virginia and California. She served on five editorial boards across the state of Tenn. Her historical brief for Jack Daniels Distillery was used for their promotional literature and given to visitors for many years. Jeanne held memberships in the Tennessee Historical Society (VP for four years and first woman to ever preside over a meeting) and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR Vice Regent and Regent of the Tullahoma chapter). Her involvement with the DAR inspired her granddaughter, Natalie, to follow in her footsteps of service and she is currently the Regent in her Chattanooga chapter.
Jeanne was also a devoted member of the Tullahoma First United Methodist Church, and later the Winchester United Methodist Church for several decades until she was no longer able to attend.
She was Attendance Chairman for the Genealogical and Historical Markers Organization.
Her genealogy passions and contributions made an impressive impact on Franklin County Tennessee and the surrounding counties through her extensive decades of work at her beloved “Dig” restoring and preserving old county documents.
Yet even with all her career commitments, her greatest joy and accomplishment was that of being a mom to each of her three boys, at which she succeeded wonderfully. In her last seven years, she resided comfortably and safely at Franklin Manor Assisted Living. The staff there took excellent care of her along with the assistance of Compassus Hospice for the last two years. Their seamless relationship made her last years very secure and peaceful, and provided her family with great solace in knowing she was happy and secure. While in their care, she and several of her special friends spent many afternoons enjoying their rummikube games. Many cherished memories were also created sharing precious time with family during their visits, gatherings, and meals together.
Jeanne’s Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, July 18, 2023, with visitation at noon central time and a memorial service to follow at one o’clock at Moore-Cortner Funeral Home, 300 First Ave. NW, Winchester, Tennessee 37398. The family looks forward to seeing you for visitation at noon central time that Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to General James Winchester Chapter DAR, 4021 Keith Cove Road, Winchester, TN 37398.
Moore-Cortner Funeral Home 300 1st Ave NW, Winchester, TN 37398, (931)967-2222,

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Published June 25, 2023

  • June 25, 2023