Biggers was in his second term as mayor of a city that friends and colleagues universally say he loved. Mayor Pro Tem Kenny Hughes will perform the duties of Mayor until a special election can be held sometime in March 2013. City Clerk Karen King said Tuesday that qualifying for the position will be announced 90 days before that election.
On Aug. 14, the date of the last city council meeting, the ailing Biggers was brought to City Hall, where he was presented with a plaque declaring the day in his honor and feted with testimonies by city employees, many of whom then had their photographs taken with him. A slideshow of those photographs currently appear on the city’s website. Weakened by his illness, Biggers was heard to say he was “grateful” and “appreciative” of the honors.
The city’s offices were closed Monday, and King described employees at city hall on Tuesday as “grief stricken” while struggling to attend to their duties.
A memorial service was held on Aug. 20 at Hutcheson’s Memorial Chapel with the Rev. John Norton and Danny Hutcheson officiating, according to information provided by the funeral home. Members of the Buchanan City Council, city employees, and officials of the Buchanan Police Department served as honorary pallbearers. The urn was interred in the family plot at Buchanan City Cemetery.
Biggers is survived by his daughter, Kelly, her husband, David Arizola; and their daughter, Isabella Arizola, all of Metarie, La.; his sister, Caroline Wright of Marietta; as well as a number of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Biggers was born in Buchanan on April 14, 1943, and was a retired psychotherapist and a past business economist for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He also was a member of Buchanan United Methodist Church.
Haralson County officials praised Biggers for his work as mayor and as a supporter of Buchanan and its people.
Commission Chairman Allen Poole said he had known Biggers and the mayor’s family ever since Poole was a small boy in Buchanan.
“This is going to be a tragic loss, not only to the family but also to the community,” Poole said. “Mayor Biggers loved the city of Buchanan … he will be missed.”
Bremen Mayor Sharon Sewell praised Biggers as a man with “great intelligence and vision.”
“He was a person who was helpful and friendly, desiring to be a team player and to create unity,” Sewell said, adding that the mayor “loved the city of Buchanan, and he loved its people.”
“I know many stories of people that he very quietly and, in a very subdued way, went out of his way to help, and I respected him,” Sewell said. “He was always very gracious to me, friendly to me, and we’re going to miss him.”
Buchanan Police Chief Tracy Lambert said that the city was determined to help ensure that the mayor’s vision for the growth the city would continue “even in his absence.”
As mayor, Biggers was committed to working with business and community leaders interested in bringing economic growth and prosperity to all of Haralson County.
Janie Holder, chairman of the board for Downtown Buchanan Revitalization said Biggers “loved to come downtown for the festivals. He loved to see people in town … he wanted to see, as time goes on, more things happening for the people downtown for them to come and enjoy, sit on the square if they want to, socialize and talk; have a conversation with each other. That was one of his favorite things to do. He loved to talk.”
“We at the Chamber really enjoyed working with ‘Buster,’” said Jennie English, president and CEO of the Haralson County Chamber of Commerce. “He was often at our events, he was a supporter of the chamber and what we were doing here, and we could count on him for his support, especially when it came to anything that could bring the community together.
“He really was a kind person, and that counts for a lot,” she added.