Anne Lehr Bigelow, 93, mother of Wiltonian

Anne Lehr Bigelow, the mother and grandmother of Wilton residents, died Thursday, June 12, in Hudson, Fla. She was 93,

Born in 1920 in Lebanon, Pa., she was the daughter of Charles Ellis and Mae M. Lehr. Anne Lehr grew up in Bethlehem, Pa., where she attended Liberty High School, and she earned an associate in arts degree from Moravian College in 1940. She then worked briefly at Weston-Dodson Coal Company and at Bethlehem Steel Company.

During World War II, she enlisted in the Navy in 1942 as one of the initial group of WAVES. She became one of the first female Navy officers, serving in the Navy intelligence office; she also was the model for a Navy recruiting advertisement that appeared in national magazines and on posters.

In 1943, Ensign Lehr married another Navy officer, Lt. Benjamin Bigelow; they were married for over 62 years. She was discharged from the Navy in 1944, and returned to Bethlehem while her husband continued to serve overseas. After the war, they moved initially to Lynn, Mass., and then to the New York area, eventually settling in Darien in 1962. In addition to raising a family, Mrs. Bigelow provided administrative support for her husband’s business, served as office manager for Corbin Development Co., became a licensed realtor, and managed the Darien office for Paul Dauk Associates; she also was active in the First Congregational Church of Darien. They retired to Florida in 1977.

Mrs. Bigelow was “a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, devoted to her family and friends. In her retirement years, she was an avid reader, bridge player, and golfer, winning club trophies even in her 80’s,” her family said. “She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.”

Mrs. Bigelow is survived by a daughter, Karin Bigelow Faber, and her husband George, of Kennett Square, Pa.; a son Jonathan Bigelow and his wife Mariann, of Wilton; and a son Peter Bigelow and his wife Margaret, of Darien. Mrs. Bigelow is also survived by six grandchildren, Dr. Sara Faber Adler of Huntersville, N.C., Jake Faber of Kennett Square, Pa., Emily Bigelow of Columbus, Ohio, Catherine Bigelow of Darien, James Bigelow of Wilton, and David Bigelow of Darien, Conn.; and one great-grandchild, Benjamin Adler of Huntersville, N.C. She was predeceased by her husband, Benjamin; a son, Benjamin Jr.; a grandson, Benjamin Faber; and her brother, Charles Ellis Lehr Jr.

A memorial service is planned for later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Benjamin Faber Memorial Scholarship Fund, West Chester University Foundation, P.O. Box 541, West Chester, PA 19381.

—by the staff