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Obituary Notice – Daniel D. Bigelow

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BigelowDanFREDONIA:  Daniel D. “Big Dan” Bigelow, 46, of Cleveland Avenue, Fredonia, died unexpectedly Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at Mercy Ambulatory Care in Orchard Park, after recently having knee surgery.  He was born in Dunkirk on March 30, 1971, the son of the late Douglas L. and Tenny C. (Webb) Bigelow.

  He was a graduate of Forestville Central School, Class of 1990 and was currently working as Highway Superintendent for the Town of Pomfret for the last 4 years.  Mr. Bigelow was previously a truck driver for TPS in Silver Creek, owned & operated Big Dan’s Dump Truck Service of Fredonia and worked for the Town of Pomfret as a Motor Equipment Operator for 7 years.  He was a member of the Moniuszko Social Club, Dunkirk and the Fredonia Beaver Club.  Mr. Bigelow enjoyed spending time with his daughter (his pride & joy) and watching her play softball with the West Seneca Magic Softball Travel Team.  He was on the Board of the Fredonia Little League and the coach of her softball team when she was younger and they made it to the States 3 years in a row.  Mr. Bigelow loved his dogs “GG” and “Mocha” dearly also.  Mr. Bigelow had a big heart and was a friend to many.

  Survivors include a daughter, Sydney Bigelow, of Fredonia; and two sisters, Jane (Edward) Balzer, of Charlotte, NC; and Judy (Daniel) Ainsworth, of Matthews, NC. Also surviving are nieces & nephews Caitlin & Dustin Ainsworth, Corbin & Chase Balzer and Chelsea (Collin) Perry.

  Friends are welcome to call at Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, 39 Main Street, Forestville this evening from 7-9 and Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM from where Funeral Services will be held Saturday morning at 11 o’clock, with Rev. Michael Pollock, pastor of Gage Chapel Community Church, Smith Mills, officiating.  Interment will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredonia.

  The family requests donations be made to The Sydney Bigelow College Fund, %Evans Bank, 25 Main Street, Forestville, NY 14062.  To post condolences go to




  • Beth Miller
    Posted February 1, 2018 at 5:07 am

    Thank you Danny, for the kindness and laughter you brought to me.

  • Bill Phillips
    Posted February 1, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Dan was one of the nicest and friendliest people I have ever met.
    He will be greatly missed in the Chautauqua County Town Highway Association.
    One of my best customers and a great friend.

    RIP Big Dan

    Your friend Bill Phillips , Gernatt Asphalt Pod.

    • Judy Ainsworth
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Mr. Phillips,
      What kind words you have about Dan!!!! That is so nice to hear how he was such a good man to so many people!!!! It makes me sad at the impact Dan’s loss will make in Chautauqua County!!!!! Please know that Dan’s sisters never felt more honored to see every person from Dan’s job, vendors, salespeople, snowplow drivers, etc, etc, to come and tell us how they will miss their friend, Dan. it meant so much to us, to see all the people he has crossed paths with, and how he has affected their lives, one way or the other. So please tell everybody how it made us feel!! We will never forget the past three days. Never! Thank you so very much Mr. Phillips….

  • Shari Lynne Tribble
    Posted February 1, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    my heart goes out to the family and friends at this sad time…

  • Sally Rider
    Posted February 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    David and I would like to express our sincere sympathy to Dan’s Family and especially Sidney. He was such an outgoing and friendly young man. Always had a smile and took time to visit with us. Our granddaughters Emily and Rhianna were on dance and cheer teams with Sidney.

  • Judi Rose
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I am so shocked and saddened to hear that Dan passed away. I loved working with him and we had some great conversations while I was in the Superintendents Association. He will truly be missed. RIP my friend.

  • Ryan Blothenburg
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Dan was a top notch guy…a truly great person who was always willing to help. He will be greatly missed in this area. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • William Ferneza
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Dan will be sadly missed, ALWAYS an awesome guy and always made you smile

  • Barb O’Connell
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Dan was such a nice kid. He played with my kids here at the house. I remember many sunny days splashing in the pool. Also lots of good conversations with his mom, Tenny. So sorry for your loss. He was much too young to leave this world.

    • Judy Ainsworth
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      Barb, are you the lady who taught Danny swimming lessons when he was little? He was taken away much too young, you are right about that. Thank you for your condolences on behalf of the family. My sister and I appreciate every word that is said about our brother. Every comment is special to both of us, please know that.

  • Shaun Botticello-Miller
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Ever since grade school, I cannot remember a kinder, funnier, jovial soul that was always wearing a smile. Your laughter and kindheartedness were infectious! You will be truly missed. My dearest condolences to all your loved ones left behind…

    • Judy Ainsworth
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much for the sweet words. It means so much to the family. Danny’s smile got him everywhere in life, thats for sure!!!!! He has taught all of us so very much! And that is a blessing! Thank you for remembering how kind Danny always was!!!!! AND HE LOVED to be FUNNY!!!!! He most certainly did!!!!

  • Jerry and Elaine Bentham (former owners of Cherry Creek Hardware and Stove Shop)
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks Dan for your wonderful smile everytime we met you.You will be sadly missed.

  • Barb McCroskey
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Dan was a wonderful Person. So kind and full of laughter. Hugs and prayers to his family. Especially his daughter Sydney

    • Judy Ainsworth
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you for the sweet comments about our brother. Every comment is so special to my sister and I, and we appreciate the time you spent to comment. We know you will miss him tremendously.

  • Father Raymond Donohue
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Dan was a great friend, loved his daughter and always spoke of her. He came up to my cabin many times to help, and was a friend to everyone. I will miss him and his smile, his good will, and his example he gave to everyone of how to live and how to be a true success: by caring for others. God bless you Dan. I will always remember you and pray for you and your family.

  • Melinda Slawson
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    If you ask me what I most associate with my childhood, Danny and his mom Tenny are right there in my earliest memories. His mom and my mom were good friends and were Girl Scout leaders together for my sister and Jane and Judy’s troop. Plus, Tenny worked at Chadakoin Farrms, our family business (which was on King Rd. between Gibbs and Mixer Rds), in the “apple cellar”, so she was often there in the fall afternoons and evenings after school and on weekends, and because he and I were the same age, she would usually bring Dan to work with her and he often rode the bus home with me.

    There was no end to our adventures!! It being the 1970s, we had almost total freedom, only showing up from whatever those were to eat something! Tuna sandwiches, potato chips, usually!! I remember “teaching” Dan that you didn’t need to stop playing to blow your nose, just breathe in and suck it all right back up! A revelation!! “Oh.”, he said — not quite sounding convinced.. We both loved playing with trucks and tractors, Matchbox and Hot Wheels, Fisher Price anything (the Golden Era) and we also just enjoyed running around, jumping in puddles and piles of leaves, exploring our several barns, spying on people and animals alike, and generally finding as much dirt and danger as possible! When we got cold, we’d come to the store and see his mom or go inside the house and watch TV.

    His mom was always working on some craft project (macrame, felt, you name it!) when things were slow, and she had endless games for us! She was always just FUN, gentle and playful, with endless projects, games and pearls of wisdom to share.
    One thing I clearly remember when Danny and I were together was laughter. He found everything funny, ESPECIALLY when I was showing off and did something stupid!!! It happened a lot,unfortunately. But it wasn’t ever mean laughter, it was joyful, delighted, “I’m sorry I just can’t help it” kind of laughter, so I’d join in. Tenny clearly thought we were a hoot, too. For some reason, I recall us howling like wolves (and laughing) at her encouragement. Why would she want kids to make MORE noise? But she did!! She encouraged it.
    The other thing that brought us together was “getting” to go to to our sisters’ Girl Scout meetings and events. These happened in the Methodist Church Sunday school room and the old Fire Hall, when there were really cool murals in there depicting scouting, I think? Once, they built stoves out of Hawaiian Punch cans and bunsen burners and made INCREDIBLE (because it wasn’t breakfast time!!) french toast — we got to eat it!! At the end of each meeting, “Taps” was sung in the circle, with hand squeezes — REAL GIRL SCOUT STUFF! and they included us. Someone mentioned at his funeral service that Dan knew how to make the best fire. Of course, I knew why! I remember being in the woods behind their house on Creek Rd. and Tenny had showed the Girl Scouts how to build a fire, and the first one to build a fire that would burn a string held over all the girls’ fires would win something. (This blew my mind at the time.) Because Tenny and my mom apparently thought them “real” scouting skills, something GS’s no longer learn as much of today, I’m sure she also showed Dan how to make a damn good fire!

    The Bigelow house was always fun. I remember Jane and Judy’s amazingly-painted room (stripes! on the walls!!!) and those beads hanging in the kitchen!!!!! Those beads, I wanted them!! Danny was always first to have all the toys I wanted, including that Big Wheel and the Fisher Price Village I always wanted. He shared. He was, I’m sure, bored with me always wanting to play with the same favorite things of his, but never showed it. There were always lot of toy trucks and cars everywhere, so I love that he went on to own a Dump Truck business! Perfect.
    I’ll never forget once we were at the table and making something crafty..but we had no paste. Tenny MADE PASTE out of flour and water!! You can make paste?!! This is what I mean — she was so capable!! She found solutions, she was calm, she was fun! And as I got older, when my family was experiencing problems, she was there for me as someone I’d go and talk to, whether or not Danny was there, and always kind and listened — though I’m sure I was boring.
    After awhile, I moved to Falconer when my parents divorced, and Dan and I never really saw each other again, as with many of my friends from Forestville. Of course, I never saw Tenny again, either. You never think that will happen — life is a hard teacher (like Mrs. Gage!). You always naively assume you will see each other again and share stories and memories, reconnect in some way. Maybe you won’t? This is what is making me so sad right now.

    At his funeral, I heard many stories of teen Dan, adult Dan, father Dan, little brother Dan and boss Dan. What I gather is, he didn’t change!!! I’m so happy and glad to hear that he still kept his joyful, unselfconscious and playful spirit, and that he shared it with his beautiful daughter. Of course, I regret that we never had that last time or two to reconnect but I feel inspired to be more like Danny, and to just connect, care and laugh a lot more, if I can.
    One final thought: the way people described Dan’s love, humor, patience and dedication with Sydney reminded me of someone…his mom and her grandma Tenny. I am so glad he has bestowed to her that spirit and that warmth. I hope that she keeps that feeling with her forever. She comes from very special, unique people who have the rare quality to be able to deeply care and bring joy and comfort to others, who are not jaded but happy to share it. I hope she holds their love with her, always, and accepts ours now, too.
    My friend Danny will always be missed and loved. Thank you for allowing me to share these memories and I hope they bring laughter and comfort to those he was closest to.

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