John J. Digges of Bohannon, Va., died peacefully in the arms of his wife, Linda, on July 14, 2015, at the age of 83.
He was a builder, a developer and a gentleman farmer among his many occupations. He was preceded in death by his parents, Llewellyn A. Digges and the Baroness Maria Annunciata Lassoto de Lassotovich Digges, as well as a brother, William Edward Digges; a sister, Carla Digges Robinson, and his first wife, Mary Bush Digges.
He was born on March 26, 1932 in Baltimore, Md., the eldest of five children. He attended Loyola University in Baltimore, and graduated with a degree in Political Science. He served in the United States Coast Guard, after which he began a long career in the building industry. He was the Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bush Construction Corporation, a partner in Plantation Group and many other partnerships he formed to facilitate the creation of over ten thousand housing units. He served a term as the President of the Tidewater Builders Association, worked as a mediator for the National Board of Arbitrators and served on numerous other boards and committees.
As a firm but loving father of large family, he was always teaching and encouraging his children. He taught that life was a blessing to be appreciated and shared.
He had a lifelong love of hunting and fishing that he shared with anyone that he could. He traveled the world in pursuit of his passion and a friend said that he always treated the guy who carried the bags with the same interest and respect and cordiality as the guy who owned the jet.
As a devout Catholic, he became a participant in any Catholic church he passed, immediately volunteering to help them in any way he could. Throughout his life he always sought out ways that he could use his talents to support his community and improve the lives of those around him.
Since retirement, he and his wife Linda traveled extensively, more recently dividing their time between his beloved Edgewater Farm in Bohannon, and their winter home in St. Thomas, USVI, always sharing both with friends and family.
John is survived by his wife, Linda Edwards Digges; his sister, Maria O’Rourk (Rutter); his brother, Sasha Digges (Mary Catherine); 10 children, Mary Louise Digges (Linwood Burton), Nuncia Henneman (Charles Adkins), Sarah Jane Monk, Margaret Cavitt, Anne Kinney (Jay), Virginia Payne, Ralph Digges (Holly), James Digges, Anna Spain Digges and Mark Spain; 16 grandchildren, Andrew and Audrey Henneman, Louise, Lee and Dallas Monk, William, Alexander, and Catherine Cavitt, Edward and Clare Kinney, John-Michael and Anne Payne, Everett and Lauren Digges, and Marley and Zane Digges; and three great-grandchildren, Brian and Jacob Monk, and Ethan Lundsford.
The family would like to express their gratitude for all the love and caring support over the last week, to the Riverside Walter Reed Hospice and to the staff at Johnston-Willis Hospital.
The family will receive visitors at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, Va., on Monday, July 20 from 2-7 p.m. A mass in celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd., Williamsburg, followed by interment at Cedar Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic (gmfreeclinic.com), 6031 Industrial Drive, Gloucester, Va. 23061 or to a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.nelsencares.com.