On June 16, 2023, the world lost an engineering visionary and remarkable man, as Donald Gene Bigler passed away peacefully at home. He was 91. Don will always be remembered for his dedication to three great loves - his wife Linda, his family, and his work.
Raised on a Missouri farm, Don began his illustrious journey in manufacturing at Aerojet General Corporation located in California. A commendable student of engineering, he pursued his degree whilst working at Aerojet. Don's significant contribution to the Polaris Program earned him the distinguished title of Engineering Manager of the Year and rightful promotion to Plant Manager for 13 years. In 1968, he joined Fansteel as its President and two years later returned to Missouri where he served as President of Teledyne Neosho for four years before moving to Mobile, Alabama.
Don's legacy will forever be linked with Teledyne Continental Motors where he presided as President for over a decade. In recognition of designing and manufacturing the engines of Voyager aircraft that completed the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world, he received accolades from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., adding onto several other awards such as Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame induction and General Aviation Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Don had a passion for golfing, fishing and travelling especially with Linda, and held membership in the Mobile Masonic Order.
Don is survived by Linda Bigler, his loving wife of 43 years; his children Jeffrey Bigler (Cassie), Lynda Nagrich (Nick), Bruce Bigler (Michelle), Sean Sullivan (Karen); grandchildren Mark Bigler (Justine), Bradley Bigler (Mary Wesley), Alec Bigler, Ashley Bigler, Laura Skeans (Weston), Kristina Cushman (Drake) Steven Nagrich (Sarah), Donnie Bigler, Maxwell Bigler, Weslyn Walters, Daniel Walters, Anna Frances Sullivan and John Bigler Sullivan; and 6 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home (6040 Three Notch Road, Mobile, AL 36619), where family mourners and friends can condole the loss on Tuesday, June 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 at 2:00 pm with a visitation beforehand at 1:00 pm. There will be a private interment.
Don has left behind a remarkable legacy that inspires all those who knew him to strive for excellence. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in memory of Don Bigler.