BBB Industries announced the passing of its founder and chairman emeritus, Donald (Don) G. Bigler, at the age of 91.
“On behalf of BBB Industries, our board and our management team, I offer our deepest condolences to the Bigler family,” said Duncan Gillis, CEO of BBB Industries. “Don was not just one of BBB’s founders, he was a friend, mentor and an inspiration to many within the company. I already miss his friendship.”
Bigler founded BBB alongside his sons, Jeff and Bruce Bigler, who live in the Mobile area. Together, they grew the company from a small, regional remanufacturer of rotating electrical parts into one of the largest and most successful sustainable manufacturers in the world.
Bigler had three great loves: his wife, Linda; his family; and his work.
A Missouri farm boy, he began his career in manufacturing at Aerojet General Corp. in Downey, California. While working at Aerojet, he attended college at night to earn his engineering degree. Bigler was program manager on the Polaris Program and was named Engineering Manager of the Year. As a result, he was promoted to plant manager for 13 years.
In 1968, he changed companies and became president of Fansteel in Los Angeles. After only two years there, Bigler decided it was time to return home to Missouri. In 1970, Bigler joined Teledyne Industries, where he was president of Teledyne Neosho in Neosho, Missouri.
In 1974, Bigler moved to Mobile, Alabama. There he was president of Teledyne Continental Motors, a leading general aircraft-engine manufacturer. Ultimately, Bigler became a group executive for Teledyne Industries. He remained with Teledyne for more than 25 years.
In 1987, Bigler and his sons, Jeff and Bruce, founded and built BBB Industries LLC.
Bigler’s many awards include recognition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., for designing and manufacturing the engines of the Voyager aircraft. He also received the General Aviation Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Bolivar, Missouri, High School Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Award; and the NAPA Partnership Award.
A visitation is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at the Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home. A second visitation is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, followed by funeral services.