Janet (Jan) Elizabeth Bigger


Janet (Jan) Elizabeth Bigger, 81, of Marietta, OH, passed away peacefully July 16 at Harmar Place where she was a resident. She was born on February 11, 1939 in Joliet, IL to the late Russell and Virginia Nelson.

Jan was involved with music from a young age. She was in several musicals in high school and paid her way through RN school by playing the piano and singing in restaurants and night clubs. She met her husband, Bill, while he was playing in a band called The Three Twins. The two of them formed a musical duo with Jan playing piano, Bill playing guitar and both singing. They entertained in night clubs and special events while living in Texas, South Dakota, Virginia and Iowa. While living in South Dakota in the early 60’s, they had their own late-night TV show called The Bigger Show. In the late 60’s, they made an album called The Bigger Sound. In 1976 they moved to Marietta and continued entertaining with music and comedy. Jan also worked as a school nurse for Marietta City Schools while Bill was a music teacher in various schools.

Jan was very involved in the community. She was the organist at the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown for over 20 years while her husband, Bill, was the choir director. She later became the organist for the First United Methodist Church in Parkersburg and then became the organist for St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Marietta. She played the piano for the Marietta Choral and she accompanied many musicals for the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theater. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, PEO, Sarah Circle, Organist Guild and a long-standing member of the Ohio River Valley Arts and Letters. Jan was also a musical composer. She composed several cantatas and other sacred music.

Jan had a love for God, her family and her friends. She enjoyed working in her flower garden and spending time with her friends and family. For 12 years, she met a group of friends at the Harmar Tavern every Monday night for a sing along. Bill would bring his guitar and she would bring her keyboard. There were usually 15 to 20 people in attendance for the sing along. She was also in a singing group called the 5 Alive Group. She then was in a trio with Sandy Mahaney and Carol Ocheltree called Jan and Friends. They sang at nursing homes and different events in the area.

She is survived by her children, Jody Brookover (Tom), Rusty Bigger, and Michael Bigger; grandchildren, Matthew Brookover, Madeline (Brookover) Dunn, Wesley Mugrage, Lyric Bigger and Jett Bigger. She is also survived by one sister, Barbara Sterling and one brother, Bruce Nelson.

Jan was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her parents, her brother Doug Nelson and her grandson Collin Bigger.

Because of the current situation with Covid-19, there will not be a memorial service at this time. Those wishing to share a story, fond memory or their condolences, please visit MOVCremation.com.