KEARNEY — Stanley D. Bigg, 85, of Kearney died Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at Mount Carmel Home and Rehabilitation Center.

A celebration of life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Kearney eFree Church with the Revs. Adrian Boykin and John Fowler officiating. Burial will be later.

There will be no visitation. O’Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

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He passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Stan was born April 18, 1934, in Sterling, Colo., to Virgil and Elsie (Shumway) Bigg. Stan went to Life Bible College in Los Angeles where he graduated with a ministerial degree. He had a desire to meld film and Christianity. Bill and Vonette Bright (Youth for Christ) were amazing mentors to him as he was involved with their ministry in the early days.

Eventually, after several moves across the U.S., Stan moved to Kearney and met the love of his life, Susan Clare Stewart, whom he was married to for 53 years. With the birth of their daughter Stephanie, she became the joy of Stan’s life. He took her on many business trips from a very early age.

Stan was a head usher for many years at Kearney Evangelical Free Church where he had been an active member for many years. He loved greeting people and making them feel welcome. Stan taught adult Sunday school and a boys Sunday school. He worked tirelessly in the 1970s and early 1980s to ensure the KEFC Youth Group had a welcoming, fun and safe place to bring their friends, spend time together and hear the Word. He loved working with the youth pastors during those years.

Stan served on the Founding Board of the Kearney Area Children’s Museum with a passion to see the children’s museum become a facility filled with fun, education and outside the box play and learning for the area kids. He never met a child he didn’t love.

Stan was a brilliant, creative man who was always years to decades ahead of where trends were; he never stopped thinking or dreaming. Stan was named Nebraska Entrepreneur of the year in the late 1970s. He was a creative and highly energetic individual.

Stan worked in the field of advertising, product development, manufacturing and sales. He opened a College Store in 1967 by the campus and soon opened a second store downtown — The Colony Town and Campus Fashion Store. He went on to create Young America Corporation, a college fashion company with college fashion sales throughout the USA, located in St. Louis. He and Susan with daughter Stephanie moved back to Kearney in 1971 and started Après Bath Products, which later became Horizon Designs Inc.

Stan loved sports of all kinds and enjoyed playing golf and bowling. He had a great love for baseball and watching all sports, often traveling throughout the USA to watch a game or see a race. He was an avid sports memorabilia collector. He loved trains and had an impressive collection he delighted in working on, which gave him the ability to carry on his creativity during his many years living with Alzheimer’s.

During the later years, Stan’s favorite hobby was, by far, spending time with his granddaughters and family.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Susan of Kearney; daughter, Stephanie Dickey and her husband, Alan, of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; granddaughters, Rebekah Dickey of Kearney and Hayley Dickey of Abu Dhabi; brother, James Bigg and his wife, Barbara, of Hot Springs Village, Ark.; and sister-in-law, Karen Stewart and her husband, Allan Cooper, of Melbourne, Australia.

He was blessed by wonderful nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins and extended family all over the world.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and Elsie Bigg; his in-laws, Walter and Clare Stewart; a baby sister; brother, Garry Bigg; sister-in-law, Victoria Stewart; sister-in-law, Alice Stewart; nephew, Geoffrey Bigg; and niece, Sandra Bigg.

Alzheimer’s changed life dramatically for Stan these past years, but he continued to find the best in life and did all he possibly could to keep a smile on his face and joy in his heart. He loved and was loved by wonderful caregivers as he fought his battle with Alzheimer’s. Our family has been blessed by a huge caring family of caregivers with Heartprint Home Care, at CountryHouse Memory Care Residence and at Mount Carmel Nursing Home and AseraCare Hospice. The family is so very thankful to all.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests memorials to Kearney eFree Church, the Alzheimer’s Association of Nebraska to educate and find a cure to end to this difficult incurable disease, or to the Kearney Children’s Museum.

Condolences may be shared online at www.osrfh.com.

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