John Bigelow dies

Dateline: Fri 30 Oct 2009

John Bigelow, 70, died Wednesday at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis.

Cause of death was prostate cancer, said his daughter, Kelsey Bigelow, 27.

Mr. Bigelow had been an artist and illustrator at the Indianapolis Star for 20-some years.

At the time of his death, he was serving 44 years in the Indiana prison system for the murder of his wife, Marianne. He was convicted in 2006.

Always eccentric and creative, with a history of mental health issues, Bigelow was in the process of being discharged by Gannett when the murder took place.

"He was on a bunch of medications, and my mom was sick," said Kelsey, who said Bigelow's request to be buried next to his wife at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens will be honored.

Bigelow began serving his sentence in 2006. Most recently he was incarcerated at Pendleton. He had been a patient at Wishard for about a month.

Bigelow had been working while in prison, illustrating books written by his friend, former Star sports reporter Russ Leonard Sr., who had been imprisoned for child molesting. Leonard, released in 2005, is now writing a book about the Chicago Cubs. Kelsey, a graduate of the Indiana University Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, said she would take over the project for her father.

Bigelow is also survived by his son John Nicholas, 23, a video game designer.

There will be no services. "My father didn't really want anything except to be buried next to my mom," said Kelsey.

If anyone wishes to reach Bigelow's children, please send me an email. Our sincere condolences to the family.


rusL [unverified] said:

John's daughter is Kelsay, not ey. RusL. I got released sat aft.

2009-10-31 14:58:02

Once Upon a Time [unverified] said:

Bigelow was a multitalented artist. As I recall, he even designed some of the squares for those fabulous quilt contests The Star staged in the late '70s and early '80s, at the start of the most recent handcrafted quilt craze. (I especially liked his cardinals square.)

2009-11-01 21:51:54

StarStruck [unverified] said:

Does anyone find it a bit odd that there's no obit for John in the paper?

2009-11-03 21:29:00

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