Jill Bigwood (Jane Gray Bloodgood), age 83, died in Menlo Park, Calif., September 13, 2010. Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2005, Jill resolved to live until I die. She succeeded!
Jill was born in Madison Wis., on July 24, 1927, to the Rev. Francis and Jane Bloodgood (who was herself ordained in 1978). Jill was proud to be the oldest living daughter of two Episcopal priests! She graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with a major in French area studies, and then served in the State Department Foreign Service in Rome, Italy, and the Department of Defense in Brussels, Belgium, where she met Guy Bigwood. They were married in October 1953, and raised their family in New Haven, Conn. Jill and Guy retired to Ashland, Ore., in 2001, and relocated to California in 2006.
During their time in Connecticut, Jill was employed by Yale University (French Department and Divinity School) for more than 25 years. She was very active in the Episcopal Church, serving as Dean of the New Haven Deanery, and as a frequent Delegate to General Convention including three years on the Standing Committee for Liturgy and Church Music. Jill also served on a diocesan medical ethics committee, an ecumenical committee for refugee resettlement, and the boards of I Have A Dream, New Haven, Inc. and Life Haven. She was program chair of the Alliance Franaise, a board member of the English Speaking Union, a member of the Long Wharf Theatre Guild and the Colonial Dames, and chair of the host family program of the International Student Center. She sang with the New Haven Chorale for over 20 years, and served on its board, and she had a long and successful career in amateur dramatics. From 1977 she was a dedicated member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, and attended a meeting of Companions in Palo Alto just two days before her death. She also sang in two Threshold Choirs in recent years, in Ashland and Palo Alto, and contributed original songs to the choir's repertoire.
Jill is survived by her husband, Guy Bigwood; son, Jim Bigwood (and Jay), of Jersey City, N.J.; daughter, Kate Atkinson (and Michael), of Concord, N.H.; son, Peter Bigwood (and Liz), of Northampton, Mass.; daughter, Joan Bigwood King, of Palo Alto, Calif.; and Sothy Kay (and Karen), of Braintree, Mass., to whom she was a second mother; six grandchildren, William and Annie Bigwood, Caroline and Peter King, Georgia Atkinson and Peter Kay; and sister, Eve Morrow, of Glendale, Ohio.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 27 at 11:00 a.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jill's name to:
1) Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851;
2) Episcopal Relief and Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116;
3) Pathways Hospice Foundation, 585 North Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085