Friends and family remember the life of Eric Bigler who passed away earlier this week
Earlier this week, Eric Bigler, owner of Bigler Motors in North Lincoln, passed away in a car crash.
Bigler was a very well-known businessman in the automobile industry.
It happened on Wednesday night.
Bigler was driving near Nebraska City when he collided with a semi-truck and died as a result of his injuries.
The sudden loss came as a shock to his friends and family.
They say Bigler was a devoted family man, who loved helping people in his community.
“He was the most caring individual that I’ve ever worked with. Not only was he my boss, but he was my very good friend,” said Brough Pickrell, who worked alongside Bigler for 14 years.
“He was just a big, big teddy bear. Big stature. Intimidating, but once you got to know him he was just one big gentle giant. He would do a lot for anybody. You’ll hear a lot of people say that, that’s not by accident. He was just a wonderful person,” said Bill Gauthier, who worked alongside Bigler for 12 years.
Bigler lived in Lincoln most of his life.
A Lincoln East and UNL grad, he opened Bigler Motors in 1998, quickly earning a reputation as a big man with a big heart.
One of his favorite sayings, “Good reputation is earned”, is something friends say he tried to emulate in his life.
“I hugged him Wednesday night before he left. Told him to be careful, you look tired. He gave me a hug and said, ‘Billy boy, I’ll see ya later.’ He took his mountain dew, and that was the last time I saw him,” said Gauthier.
Friends and family heard about the car accident Thursday morning.
They say it’s a moment they will never forget.
“Disbelief… Just absolute disbelief,” said Pickrell.
“I can’t say how big of a shock it was. This is probably one of the biggest shocks I’ve ever had. Too close to home. I’m going to miss not seeing him every day,” said Gauthier.
Eric leaves behind his wife Lori and sons Treyson, Chase and Jake.
He was involved in numerous charity events in and around the Lincoln community.
Friends and family say the way he treated everyone is something that really stands out about Bigler, and one of the biggest things that will be missed.
“Eric was a guy that always tried to help anybody that he could. He cared about his family, first and foremost, and he cared about everybody else and their families as well. Family meant everything to him,” said Pickrell.
“He meant everything to me, to all of us, and we’ll miss him,” said Pickrell.
A memorial fund is being set up in his name for those who want to donate.
It will be available early next week.
“It would mean very very much to that family and to all of us here. For anything that the community would help support for them,” said Pickrell.
“He took care of a lot of people. And we’re going to be here to take care of his family,” said Gauthier.
There is a celebration of life gathering Monday at Roper and Sons’ south Lincoln location.
A memorial service will be held at 10 am on Tuesday at the Lincoln Berean church.
If you’re interested in donating to the Bigler family, the memorial fund should be set up early on next week, we will have more information when it is officially set up.