Mary Joan Flood Bigley

CUMBERLAND – Mary Joan Flood Bigley, 84, career nurse and beloved mother and grandmother, passed peacefully on Sept. 23, 2020. Born in Albany, N.Y., to William A. Flood and Mary Lillian (McGraw) Flood, Joan graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names and Saint Rose College School of Nursing and began her career working for the Albany County Health Department. Joan married Ronald Bigley in 1960 and the couple moved to Boston where Ron attended graduate school and Joan worked at Brigham and Women’s and St. Elizabeth’s Hospitals. After the birth of their first son, Christopher, Ron and Joan returned to Albany where the family continued to grow with the births of Monica, Andrew, and Sara. When all four children were in school, Joan returned to work as a school nurse teacher for Albany City School District and worked there for 30 years helping many underserved young women in some of the district’s most challenging schools. Home life during that time was sometimes frenetic, but always fun-filled. Despite working full time and parenting four children, Joan shunned the convenience of processed foods, always cooking from scratch and canning and freezing her own vegetables. Summer vacations were spent at the family camp at Thompson’s Lake in East Berne, N.Y. with her sister, Kathleen, and their combined total of nine children.In 1976, Ron and Joan moved their family to a home in the country on Warner’s Lake in East Berne, N.Y. When her children departed for college and careers, Joan returned to school and earned a master’s degree from SUNY Albany while still working full-time. After she retired, Joan moved to Cumberland in 2005. Here, she spent her time wholeheartedly supporting her family and helping raise her grandchildren, Aidan and Lillian. She was a constant presence at their various sporting events, musical recitals, and dance performances. She spent many summers at Monica’s camp in Sweden, where she especially enjoyed kayaking on Keyes Pond. Her family was Joan’s greatest joy. Joan stayed active traveling to North Carolina to visit Sara and her horses as well as Chris and her granddaughter, Kendall, who is following in Joan’s footsteps and pursuing a nursing career. Andrew’s house in New Jersey was essentially her second home. In the last year of her life she toured national parks in California, Nevada, and Utah. Joan’s greatest gift to others was her unconditional love. She was also a caring and faithful friend and a dedicated correspondent. Those who received her treasured letters appreciated her generous spirit. She loved to read, cook, and knit. One of her favorite activities was playing Scrabble at the camp in Sweden, at the library in Cumberland and with her gang of friends during their regular vacations in Florida.Joan was predeceased by her brother, John.She is survived by her children, Christopher, Monica and her husband Andrew Black, Andrew and his wife, Maryellen, and Sara; grandchildren Aidan, Lillian, and Kendall; her sister, Kathleen Keegan; and her beloved nieces and nephews and their families. A celebration of her life is planned for the summer of 2021. Donations in Joan’s memory can be made to: Greater Lovell Land Trust, P.O. Box 225, Lovell, ME 04051

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