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Barbara Bigej

Sept. 16, 1922-Aug. 29, 2013


Barbara Bethine Bigej, of Mount Angel and former Montana University professor-emeritus in the School of Home Economics, died Aug. 29, 2013. She was 90 years of age.by: SUBMITTED - Barbara Bigej

She was born in Portland Sept. 16, 1922, the firstborn of four children to Fred George and Mary Elizabeth Bigej. She attended Oak Grove Elementary School in Oak Grove and graduated from Brooklyn Elementary School in Portland in June 1936. She attended McLoughlin High School in Milton-Freewater and graduated from Oregon City High School in June 1940.

Following graduation she attended Behnke-Walker Business College in Portland and worked as a secretary for two years in Portland before attending Oregon State College. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics in 1947 and a master’s degree in home economics education and child development in 1953. She attended Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit, Mich., Portland State University and the University of Oregon.

She taught home economics in three Oregon high schools — Molalla High School, Albany High School and Corvallis High School — and in Montana at Missoula County High School. In 1955 she joined the teaching staff at Montana State University in Bozeman as assistant professor of home economics and director of the child development center.

She retired 23 years later as professor emeritus, completing a total of 31 years of teaching. She served as acting director of the School of Home Economics; served as liaison-consultant for the Project Head Start Day Care Centers on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation at Busby, Lame Deer and Ashland, Mont.; served as key-note speaker and leader of two state conferences for home and family life teachers in Oregon and Washington; and served as guest instructor at the University of Washington during two summer sessions, teaching courses in early childhood education, parent education and methods of teaching.

She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Woodburn and Senior Estates Golf and Country Club University. She was a volunteer at Providence Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel.

She is survived by her brother Albert L. Bigej, five nieces, three nephews, six great-nieces and seven great-nephews.

Funeral service will be held Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Private entombment will be at Mountain View Cemetery in Oregon City. Memorial contributions may be sent Providence Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel.

Arrangements by Simon-Cornwell Colonial Chapel, Woodburn.