Posted: May 20, 1993


James Biggin, 73, of Levittown, a retired Bucks County Realtor, died May 11 at Chandler Hall Hospice in Newtown Township.

Mr. Biggin was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in Somerville, N.J., where he graduated from Somerville High School in 1937. He attended the New Hampton School in New Hampshire until 1939 and then the University of Virginia until 1942.

From 1942 to 1945, was a Navy lieutenant on anti-submarine patrol on the aircraft carrier Guadalcanal, serving as a landing signal officer.

"In June 1944, a boarding crew from the Guadalcanal captured a German submarine, the U-505, in the Atlantic," said his wife of 42 years, May Eastburn Biggin. "The U-505 is now at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Several years ago, as a member of the Task Group 22.3 Association, he set up a reunion in Chicago that included members of the German crew. The association meets yearly to commemorate the capture."

After his military service, Mr. Biggin was employed in the advertising department of Vick Chemical Co. in New York. In 1951 he became a partner in Hugh B. Eastburn Real Estate in Bristol Borough and now in Newtown Borough. He retired several years ago.

Mr. Biggin was a member of the Bucks County Board of Realtors and had served on its ethics committee. He was named to the national Graduate Realtors Institute and was a former chairman of the Lower Bucks County Multiple Listings Service.

He was a member of the Neshaminy Tennis Club and had been president of the Lower Bucks County Jaycees and the Bristol Exchange Club.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Andrew E. and Hugh E.; a daughter, Margot A.; two grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

A memorial service was held Tuesday in the George School Meetinghouse in Newtown Township. Mr. Biggin was cremated, and his ashes will be buried at sea by the crew of a Navy ship.

Memorial contributions may be made to Chandler Hall Hospice, Buck Road and Barclay Street, Newtown, Pa. 18940.

Arrangements were made by the Dunn Funeral Home in Langhorne.


Joseph C. Schepise Jr., 47, of Levittown, a fire system installer and a well-known drum and bugle corps member and instructor, died last Thursday at Burlington County Memorial Hospital of injuries suffered in a collision of two pickup trucks in Burlington County, N.J.

Mr. Schepise was born in Philadelphia and as a child, he moved with his family to Bucks County, where he graduated from Delhaas High School. He had lived in Levittown since 1976.

For the last 10 years, Mr. Schepise was a fire systems installer for Fyr Fytr in Pennington, N.J.

Mr. Schepise played the trumpet, bugle and drums and was a former director of the Bristol Bracken Cavaliers and the Doylestown Junior Drum and Bugle Corps. He also was a drill instructor for the South Hunterdon (N.J.) High School.

He was a former member of the Blessed Sacrament Drum and Bugle Corps in Bucks County and the Lambertville Volunteers.

Mr. Schepise is survived by two brothers, Richard M. and Daniel R.; a sister, Mary Anne Esposito, a nephew and four nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at the James J. Dougherty Funeral Home in Levittown. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery in Bensalem.


Woodrow W. Avrett, 76, formerly of Trevose, a retired railroad fireman, died May 12 at University Hospital in Augusta, Ga. He lived in nearby Appling, Ga.

Mr. Avrett was born in Appling and graduated from high school there. After graduation, he was unable to find a job because of the Depression and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In the CCC, Mr. Avrett helped landscape land damaged by the Tennessee Valley Authority while building the Norris Dam near Norris, Tenn.

Mr. Avrett lived in Trevose for 24 years before moving to Appling 24 years ago. In Bucks County, he was a member of Trevose United Methodist Church.

For 30 years he was a fireman on the former Pennsylvania Railroad. He retired on disability 25 years ago and moved back to Appling. He was a member of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Winfield, Ga., and also was a member of an association of retired railroad employees.

Mr. Avrett is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ruth E. Newlin Avrett; two daughters, Martha Powell and Doris Grantham; five grandchildren; four great- grandchildren, a brother and three sisters.

A graveside service was held Friday in the Shiloh United Methodist Churchyard.

Arrangements were made by the Curtiss Funeral Home in Thomson, Ga.


Shirley Shull, 61, formerly of Langhorne and Penndel, a former secretary, died Friday at Chandler Hall Hospice in Newtown Township.

Miss Shull was born in Mount Carmel, Pa., graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1950 and attended Albright College in Reading.

She lived in Langhorne for 10 years and Penndel for 15 years before moving to Hatfield a year ago.

For many years she was employed as an operator by Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania in Mount Carmel and then in Langhorne before becoming a secretary in the quality-control office of 3M Co. in Bristol Township.

She was a member of First Baptist Church in Lansdale.

Miss Shull is survived by a brother, Samuel; four sisters, Virginia Hobson, Wilma Becker, Carrie Wert and Nancy Cordi, two stepsisters and many nephews and nieces.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at the Willard A. Rothermel Funeral Home in Mount Carmel. Burial was in Mount Carmel Cemetery.

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