Wayne Bigham peacefully passed away on June 23 at his home
with his family by his side. He was 65 years old.
He is preceded in death by his mom Dorothy, his dad Bill, and his sisters Susie and Kathy.
He is survived by his wife Julie, their son Matthew and his wife Kelli Bigham and granddaughter Bella, their daughter Melissa and her husband Jedd with his grandchildren Justin, Cody, Ryan and Olivia Ambrosini, their daughter Tyler and her husband Chris with his granddaughters Tatem and Caydence Greene, their daughter Blake Weigand and his grandson Wyatt Treadwell, their son Jerrad Bigham, his sister Gaylene and her husband Les with their children Jason and wife Stacy and Adam Gildersleeve and his great-nephews Austin and AJ Gildersleeve, great niece Caitlin with great-great-nephew Samuel Gildersleeve.
Mike was born July 10, 1955 in Crescent City. He grew up with a close extended family that moved a lot where the work took them. Mike began working in construction with his dad when he was only 10 years old. He received his contractor’s license when he was just 21 years old. Mike and his dad were best friends working together until Bill’s passing. Together they constructed hundreds of residential homes, entire subdivisions, and several hotels over 50 years. Mike separated from his dad for a short time to go to Sacramento to build houses on his own. However, when it came time for his first child, a son, to be born in 1979 he moved back home to be close to family where he stayed. Mike’s daughter was born in 1981. Mike also built commercial buildings, apartment buildings and even a couple of school buildings. Mike’s talents were not limited to the construction of the building. He designed many of his projects, including five of the six hotels he built.
In 1991 Mike met Julie and her two daughters. They were married in 1994 and raised their family together. Their son Jerrad was born in 1995. They worked side by side for 30 years, recently completing an Extended Stay America in Ukiah. Also working by Mike’s side was his good friend and brother, Jitu Ishwar. Although Mike’s illness was becoming unbearable he completed the hotel, even participating in the opening by cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Amazingly, Mike and Bill’s work will live on for hundreds of years.
Mike had a passion for great outdoor activities including hunting, water and snow skiing and living life to its fullest with his friends and family. He rarely passed up the opportunity to shoot a game of pool. Annual houseboat trips to Lake Shasta were a favorite way to spend time with family. Ruth Lake was another favorite family vacation spot. Weekend getaway is more like it. Mike bought property in Ruth about 30 years ago and the family took full advantage of the quiet spot, camping, swimming, motorcycle riding, and BBQing over the open campfire. Too many memories to share. Mike always said, “Thank God for family, born or chosen”. Mike’s greatest love was always his family. Julie will always be Mike’s truest love and was always by his side in every facet of life.
Mike’s grandson Wyatt says “He was a really great grandpa!”
Mike enjoyed his life, living it to the fullest with his heart full of fun, adventure, and love. We will do our best to honor him by living our lives the way he would want us all to do. It may be difficult though considering he was always the instigator!
A celebration of life is being held on Saturday, July 10 starting at 1 p.m. at 1866 Singley Hill Road, Loleta. His remains will be distributed in Humboldt County.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Mike Bigham’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.