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James J. Biggs, retired entrepreneur
May 19, 1930 -- Feb. 10, 2006

James J. Biggs of Delevan, a retired entrepreneur and business owner, died Friday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Batavia, after a long illness. He was 75.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Biggs was a batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers and dreamed of one day playing ball for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers signed him to a contract, but his playing career was cut shot when, while serving with the Marines in Korea, he suffered a shoulder wound.

Mr. Biggs, who attended Stetson University, moved to Clarence in 1957, lived briefly in Pennsylvania and moved back to Western New York, settling in Delevan in 1987.

He launched several businesses in Western New York in the 1960s and '70s, including Goodrich Real Estate and the Granary Inn, both in Clarence, Pinocchio's Restaurant in Hamburg and the Allentown World Center in Buffalo.

Mr. Biggs' most recent ventures were Harvard Development and, along with two of his sons, Freedom Properties.

His wife, Marilyn Cook Biggs, died in 2000.

Survivors include three daughters, Theresa Imhof and Melanie Shoemaker, both of East Aurora, and Elizabeth Clark of Pittsburgh; four sons, Anthony of the Philippines, Sean of Marilla and James Jr. and Kevin, both of East Aurora; two stepdaughters, Laura Hervey of Akron and Kathleen Carnagie of Utica; and 31 grandchildren.

Services were today in F.E. Brown Sons Funeral Home, Orchard Park. Burial was in Yorkshire Cemetery, Delevan.

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