Patricia Ann (“Pat”) Hilner Bigler, former resident of Coatesville and a long-time resident of Reading, passed away on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at the age of 85. Pat was born on July 9, 1935 in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, one of three children of Rev. Howard K. and Lena M. Hilner. She grew up in Meyersdale and lived briefly in Illinois and Wisconsin during World War II before moving to Coatesville. She graduated from Coatesville High School and Penn State University. After college she worked briefly for US Steel in Pittsburgh before returning to Coatesville, where she worked for DuPont in Wilmington while obtaining a teacher’s certificate and then taught at North Brandywine Middle School. In Coatesville she was introduced by her brother-in-law to Clarke A. Bigler, who she married in 1958, and who would be her husband for the next 47 years. She and Clarke had two sons, C Stephen Bigler and Rex Allen Bigler. The family moved to Reading when Clarke took a job with Carpenter Steel, and then moved to Trumbull, Connecticut when Clarke was transferred to Carpenter’s Bridgeport plant. They lived there for 13 years before permanently returning to Reading. While in Connecticut Pat did substitute and in home teaching and later worked for GE. In Reading she worked for Lucent Technologies before retiring and doing volunteer work in and around Reading.
Pat loved to read and visited the Reading library almost every day. She loved to read books about World War II and the post war era and took great pride in her father, brother and husband’s service to our country during the war. She also loved music, and over the years assembled an extensive collection of classical, folk and pop music. She enjoyed trips to Europe, fall leaf trips to New England, and trips to New York City to see shows and cultural sites. But when you asked her, she would say that above everything else, the most important thing to her was her family.
Pat is survived by her sister Dorothea (Sally) Breuninger of Coatesville, her two sons, C Stephen Bigler and his wife Suzanne of West Chester, and Rex A. Bigler and his wife Debra, of Houston, Texas, and three granddaughters, Sarah, Anne, and Madison. She was preceded in death by her husband Clarke, and her brother Howard K Hilner, Jr. of Pittsburgh.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Harris Mountain Funeral Home in Coatesville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Pat’s memory be made to Immanuel United Church of Christ, 99 S. Waverly St., Shillington, PA 19607.
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Immanuel United Church of Christ
99 S. Waverly Street, Shillington PA 19607