Obituary: Margaret “P.J.” Bigelow


Margaret “P.J.” Bigelow died after a short illness at her home in Stowe, Vt., on March 26, 2018 surrounded by family. She was the daughter of Jack and Mary Lou Bolan. She was born on October 5, 1949 and raised in West Orange, N.J. She graduated from Millburn High School in N.J., earned a BA from the University of Colorado-Boulder and earned her master’s degree from Monmouth College.

Ms. Bigelow married the love of her life, Chan Bigelow in 1976 and they raised their children in Mendham, N.J. She loved being a mom and helping to run her husband’s real estate business. She also was very involved in her husband’s art career, helping to sell his oil paintings at art shows throughout New Jersey, in New York City, in the East End of Long Island and in Vermont. After her husband’s death in 2010 she became an active member of The Hamptons Chapter of W Connection, a widow support group that she attended just before her illness.

Ms. Bigelow loved the outdoors and nature. She taught her children how to ski at 3 years old in their back yard and then at small ski areas in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. They enjoyed many family ski trips to Stowe and Lake Placid. She also loved ice skating. Her children grew up ice skating on the rough frozen ponds of New Jersey and New York. When her two grandsons, Travis and Dean were born she started visiting them in Stowe and ice skating with them. She was excited to share her love for skating with her grandchildren. Now both Travis and Dean are young hockey players at Stowe Youth Hockey and will hopefully continue the love for skating their grandmother gave to them. Ms. Bigelow moved to Stowe from Sagaponack in 2014 to be closer to her grandchildren and daughters and to enjoy the beauty of Vermont that her husband had painted.

Ms. Bigelow is survived by her children, Bolan Bigelow of Portland, Maine; Lindsay Bigelow of San Diego, Calif., and Vanessa “Chessie” (James) Roy of Stowe; her step-son, Chandler (Elizabeth) Bigelow of Northfield, IL; her five grandchildren, Eddy, Walker and Penrose Bigelow of Northfield, IL and Travis and Dean Roy of Stowe; her sister, Gena; many nieces and nephews that she was very close to and many close friends. Her parents, a sister and her husband predeceased her.

Per her desire, there will be no funeral. A private memorial will be at a later date at one of the beaches she loved on the East End. In her memory, donations in her name can be made to: W Connection, The Hamptons Chapter, P.O. Box 21034, New York, NY 10025.

Online condolences may be made by visiting