ARTHUR B. POOLE
John Bigos has a pretty simple reason
for volunteering. "I enjoy it," he says, sitting
with his wife, Bernice, in their comfortable farm kitchen
on Wildcat Hill Road, "I enjoy it and I've got
Harwinton at heart."
Bigos was born
on the Wildcat Hill Road farmstead nearly 78 years ago
and has lived there all his life. He brought Bernice
Yonkaitis of Bethlehem ti the farm when they married
first got married, we were dairy farmers. We both couldn't
do volunteer work." he said.
In June, they'll
have been together 54 years.
Bigos has served
Harwinton in just about any way you can imagine. He
was a selectman for several terms and a member of the
Board of Tax Review for nine years. He was chief cook
at the annual chicken fest at Immaculate Heart of Mary
Church for many years and also barbecued chicken for
Harwinton Center Fire Department where he was a member
and auditor for many years. The Harwinton Ambulance
Association is located in the firehouse so naturally
he was an ambulance association member.
work has earned him the Arthur B. Poole Award this year.
an honor. I was floored when I got the call," Bigos
When his children
were young, Bigos was a 4-H garden club leader. "The
children had gardens. They used to sell vegetables.
It's where they made a little spending money,"
The couple has
two children, John Bigos Jr., a computer teacher at
Har-Bur Middle School and Christine Bigos Sweklo of
Hadley, Mass., director of secondary education and the
health education coordinator for Frontier Regional School
District in South Deerfield, Mass. They also have four
grandchildren, Elizabeth and John Adam Sewklo, and John
Bigos III and Lacey Bigos.
A lover of land,
Bigos became a tree and forest fire warden, a member
of the Litchfield County Farm Bureau and the Connecticut
Milk Producers Association and a member of the town's
land revaluation committee. He was named by then-Gov.
John Dempsey to the State Soil Conservation Advisory
for Civil Defense. He's also been a member of the executive
committee of the Harwinton Agricultural Society.
John Bigos Sr.'s life reflects the essence of a pure
down-to-earth country gentleman," the Poole committee
He also served
on the Poole Award committee and was a trustee of the
Lewis S. Mills High School scholarship committee.
To make money,
Bigos, now retired, was a dairy and vegetable farmer,
a school bus driver and foreman of the highway department
until his retirement in 1986.
Harwinton Historical Society Scrapbook
The Register Citizen Newspaper