Elizabeth “Beth” Kelley Bigelow

Elizabeth “Beth” Kelley Bigelow

January 16, 1932 – March 13, 2017

Elizabeth (“Beth”) Antoinette Kelley Bigelow, age 85, was born on Jan. 16, 1932 and died on March 13, 2017. Beth was born and resided in her early years at her ancestral home and plantation in Tamassee, SC. She was the daughter and treasured only child of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. Harrell Kelley of Seneca, SC. She graduated from Anderson College with an Associate Degree and from Coker University with a BA Degree in Business Education (Dean’s List). Beth married Ralph J. Bigelow of Charleston, SC. Together they founded Bigelows Stout Shoppe, Inc., a quality ladies’ clothing company and opened four locations across the state of SC to serve their customers. Some years later Beth served as an Instructor at Florence-Darlington Technical College and inspired many students through her career at FDTC. She won numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and was invited to travel across the US to speak at various colleges. She enjoyed her role as teacher and mentor. Beth was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution and held both local and state offices, serving as President of the Samuel Bacot Chapter, DAR, in Florence, SC. She embraced her service in DAR and loved her DAR friends. In addition, she served in the Children of the American Revolution, both locally as well as statewide, and founded the local chapter in Florence. Through the years she taught Sunday School in the Elementary Dept at Central United Methodist Church in Florence, where she was a member. She sang in the church choir through the years and also directed children’s choirs at her former church homes. Beth inspired many throughout her life and will be remembered as a “gracious and loving Christian Southern lady.” Surviving are her three children: Antoinette B. Caldwell of Raleigh, NC, Kelley B. (Jim) Burr of Lugoff, SC, Ralph J. Bigelow, Jr (Molly) of Hampstead, NC and five grandchildren, Tripp Caldwell (Runij) of Raleigh, NC, Jones Caldwell (Jenni) of Raleigh, NC, Betsy Burr of Columbia, SC, Claire Bigelow of Jacksonville, NC and Hayne Bigelow of Raleigh, NC. One great grandchild, Karter Caldwell of Raleigh, NC. Family and friends are invited to the Visitation on Friday, March 17, 5:00-7:00 pm at Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home, 2402 S. Irby St., Florence, SC 29505 and Graveside Service on Saturday, March 18 at 2:00 pm at Oconee Memorial Gardens, 1923 Blue Ridge Blvd, Seneca, SC 29672. Memorials may be sent to: Tamassee DAR School, P O Box 8, Tamassee, SC. 29686.