Walter Todd Bigelow was born to Todd and Hazel (Shaffer) Bigelow on July 5, 1924, their first of eight children that grew up in Greenfield, MO. Walt graduated from Greenfield High School and joined the United States’ Army Air Forces (USAAF). He served in the 22nd Bombardment Squadron in the 14th Air Force Flying Tigers as a Radio Operator and Mechanic under General Chennault in China during World War II. Walt’s passion for flying was sparked as he was serving his country and allowed him to travel around the world logging thousands of hours in his lifetime.
He married Jo Eddys McLemore on February 10, 1943 before enlisting in the service. During their 71-year union, they raised four children, Michael, Robin, Laura and Nancy.
As newlyweds, Walt and Jo worked in radio together in LaJunta, CO and Goodland, KS before moving to Kansas City and starting a family. They were members of Community Christian Church. Walt never met a stranger which served him well during his 30-year career with General Electric as Regional Sales Manager/Mobile Radio Division.
After retiring to Osceola, MO in 1986, he enjoyed his hobbies of flying, horses, beekeeping, gardening, photography, ham radio, hunting, fishing, building, fixing and inventing anything and everything and volunteering for the Optimist Club. Together, with Jo, they enjoyed dancing and playing bridge with many friends. He instilled a sense of adventure and fun spending endless hours with his grandchildren, Angela and Pamela of Kansas City, MO; Jeremy and Caleb of Charleston, SC; Richie, Christina and PJ of Kansas City, MO and Brooks and Melanie of Overland Park, KS. He is survived by his wife, Jo, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as his sisters, Jewell, Jane and Naomi and brother Leon. He was preceded in death by brothers, Owen, Glenn and Paul. To continue to give back, Walt has donated his body to science through the University of Kansas Medical School
There are not enough words to describe the many wonderful ways in which Walt is remembered.