EVANGELINE MARY KELSCH BIGHAM – JUNE 6, 1945 – DEC. 31, 2018
Vange was born to Joseph and Ella Kelsch in Springfield on June 6, 1945. She grew up in Creswell.
As a child, she picked beans in the summer and rode her bicycle down the road, which is now Interstate-5. She attended Creswell High School where she was a cheerleader and salutatorian for the class of 1963. After graduation, she went to Southern Oregon College for one year. She then returned to Creswell and met her future husband, Richard Bigham. They were married on Aug. 22, 1964. In that time she worked at the Creswell Post Office where she served 20 years.
In 1966, Vange and Richard welcomed their first child, Chrissy. Two years later they had their second child, Rick Bigham. While raising her two children, Vange went back to college to finish her degree. She earned her masters in English as well as a teaching degree. She graduated from University of Oregon in 1991 Summa Cum Laude. Within a short time, she secured a teaching position at Springfield High School. Vange enjoyed teaching honors English and journalism. She took great pride in leading students to publish the weekly Springfield High Newspaper.
While working, she served on the Creswell School Board. She retired from teaching in 2003 and focused her energy to becoming an active community volunteer. She put in many hours to ensure that the new Creswell Library became a reality. Through the Aspire program, she spent many years assisting Creswell High School seniors apply for college. She also volunteered on the Creswell Education Foundation.
Vange enjoyed many adventures with her group of hiking friends. These ladies were near and dear to Vange, and they have shared many laughs and many miles. She also enjoyed reading and writing poetry, as well as camping and fishing.
Vange’s biggest joy in life was spending time with her family. She had a knack for making each grandchild feel like they were her favorite.
We will miss her zest for life, her ability to make the smallest event a party, and the mischievous look in her eye.
Vange is survived by her husband, Richard Bigham; daughter, Chrissy Witham (Kelly); son, Rick Bigham (Lezlie); sister, Phyllis Middleton; and grandchildren, Brice Bigham (Jessica Lussi), Sierra Mattheisen (Luke Thomas), Ellee Mattheisen, Brady Bigham, Andrew Galpin (Shanna Sanders), Allison Galpin, Dakota Galpin, Justin Witham (Marissa) and Andrew Witham.
A celebration of life will be held Jan. 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Creswell Middle School. In lieu of flowers, Vange’s wish would be a donation to the Creswell Education Foundation.