Frank Holmberg Bigelow Jr. Profile Photo
1949 Frank 2024

Frank Holmberg Bigelow Jr.

July 10, 1949 — March 2, 2024

On March 2, 2024, Frank Holmberg Bigelow Jr. was welcomed into heaven to be with Jesus after passing away in Duluth, MN.  Frank was born July 10, 1949, in Grand Rapids, MN, one of four children born to Frank Sr. & Dona Bigelow. At a young age, he developed into a talented water skier, an avid fisherman and hunter and he spent as many days as possible at his family cabin on Side Lake. 

He attended the Buhl school district where he was a star Guard and Linebacker for the Bulldog football team who won a section championship his senior year.  He was inducted into the Mt. Iron-Buhl athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.  During high school, he caught the attention of Chisholm cheerleader, Karen Kukowski, and he pursued her with devotion. He created a key in woodshop for Karen telling her she held the key to his heart. Frank and Karen continued to date during their college years and Frank completed an architectural drafting degree at Duluth Technical College in 1971.  Frank was convinced Karen was the woman for him and proposed three times before she said yes. They were married May 29, 1971, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chisholm.

He started work as an Architectural Drafter at Range Architectural Builders from 1971-1972. They moved to Grand Forks, ND, in 1972 where Frank began a career as an Asst. Assessor for the City of Grand Forks. While there, they welcomed their first son, Robb.  Frank and Karen returned to the Iron Range in 1976, moving to Hibbing where they would live for the remainder of his days. They were blessed with four more children – Kimberly, Todd, Holly and Barry.  Frank worked as an Asst. Assessor and then lead Assessor for the City of Hibbing from 1976-1995. He simultaneously started Bigelow Appraisals and established himself as an authority in the real estate valuations market.  He loved his work and he continued to operate his business with his son Todd until his final days. 

Frank enjoyed painting ceramics with Karen in the early days of their marriage. He taught his love of hunting to his boys and his love of fishing to all his children.  His favorite days were spent at the family hunting camps “Weasel” and “The Outpost.”  He proudly held the title for shooting the largest buck the deer camp has ever seen in the woods, a 13 pointer that made it into the Minnesota record books.

Frank was involved in his community throughout his life, including serving as a Hibbing Hoop Club Treasurer, Rotary member, Knights of Columbus member, a two-term Hibbing City Councilor, and St. Louis County Board of Review member. Among all the things he accomplished in life, earning the title of “Grandpa” was his greatest earthly joy. He treasured family gatherings, celebrating sacramental life, holidays and birthdays (especially for his grandkids). 

Frank was always down for a game of Cribbage, especially with his friends at the Algonquin Club. Whenever he could get away, he and Karen traveled to Hawaii which he considered paradise. He was extremely proud of his father’s decorated military service and he loved reading books and watching movies about US military successes.  He had a deep faith life and was generous with those facing hardships. 

He will be missed terribly by all his friends and family.  He leaves behind a wife of 52 years, Karen Bigelow; 5 loving children: Robb (Lynn) Bigelow and children Grace, Noah, Isaiah, Samuel, Clare, Lily, and Jonathan; Kimberly (David) Bigelow-Flannery; Todd (Stephanie) Bigelow and children Baron, Shai, and Clark; Holly (Steven) Miller and daughters Caia & bonus “Tinee”; and Barry (Beth) Bigelow and children Augustine, Bruno, Damian, Mary, John Paul, Theodore, and Jerome. He is also survived by his mother, Dona Bigelow; sisters, Kathryn Landis and Susan Guiffrida; along with numerous loved in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Frank Sr., and sister, Barbara Helstrom.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Blessed Sacrament Parish with a Rosary at 9:30 a.m., followed by a visitation and funeral Mass at 11 a.m. with Fr. Daniel Weiske presiding. Arrangements are held by Dougherty Funeral Home.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Recitation of the Rosary

Saturday, March 9, 2024

9:30 - 10:00 am (Central time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

2310 7th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746

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Visitation

Saturday, March 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

2310 7th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746

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Mass

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

2310 7th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746

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