Archie “Joe” Biggers was a man of many passions and talents. Most notably, Joe was a great patriot and war hero. He also excelled at golf, had a great love of horses and the rodeo, spent countless hours as a dedicated Elk, and constantly gave back to his community. He was a loyal friend to those of us fortunate enough to have known him.
Joe was born in Colorado City, Texas on October 14, 1943. After high school, he attended Jarvis Christian College where he earned a B.A. degree in History and Health & Physical Education. A former 4-sport letterman in college, he taught History & Biology and coached basketball, baseball and tennis at Fouke-Hawkins High School from 1965-1966. That summer, he served as Camp Director of Flanner House; a non-profit organization in Indianapolis, Indiana. He later joined the Camp Atterbury Job Corp Center as a Recreation Leader, coaching football, golf and tennis.
Joe joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967 as a Private, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the time of his retirement in 1991. Joe received the Silver Star and two Purple Hearts for his heroic actions in Vietnam while serving as a Platoon and Company Commander during Operation Dewey Canyon in 1969. His platoon was responsible for capturing the first Russian made 122mm artillery guns. He commanded a Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, and served with the U.S. Southern Command as the Non-Combatant Evacuation Planning Officer. In this capacity, he was a liaison between the Dept. of State, National Security Agency, CIA and military commands on the evacuation of all government officials and civilians living and working in Central and South America. His last assignment prior to retirement was Chief, Operations and Training Branch, Landing Force Training Command, Pacific, Coronado, where he helped certify all Marine Expeditionary Units as Special Operations capable. Throughout his career, Joe received over 20 ribbons, awards and commendations.
Beginning his second career in 1992, Joe worked as a management assistant for the City Manager of San Diego, serving with the San Diego Police Department. He was the Operations Director for the Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) from 1992-1994. Joe started the Sports Training, Academic, and Recreation (S.T.A.R.) program designed to deter juvenile delinquency. By 1995, he became the Executive Director of the Greater San Diego Inner City Games, a program for needy and underprivileged youth, founded by actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He served in this position until September 1, 2003.
In January 1998, Joe became a Special Advisor to the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 2005, he was appointed a Commissioner, Youth Authority Board, State of California by the Governor. He was later reappointed Commissioner, Board of Parole Hearings, where he presided over cases of inmates who were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. In 2010, Joe was appointed as a member of the Committee of Bar Examiners for the State.
Joe was an active member of Poway Lodge #2543 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE). He served as Exalted Ruler in 2011-2012. With his fervent love of the military, Joe served as both the Vice Chair and Chair of the California-Hawaii Association National Veterans Services. In this capacity, he was responsible for Veterans activities in 19 Districts and over 170 Lodges. He was also a member of the American Legion, and a Life Member of the Poway Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7907.
In his spare time, Joe had served as a Trustee of the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, Inc, a Board Member of the Poway Valley Riders Association, the Marine Corps Historical Society, the Girl Scouts Council of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance. He was also a member of the Century Club of San Diego, the Social Service Advisory Board, County of San Diego, and was the former President of the Society Club, American Cancer Society.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Thelma Wilson, father Lovell Biggers, his sister, Beverly Calhoun, and his nephew Rodney Calhoun. He is survived by his sister Gloria Dixon of San Antonio, Texas, and his niece, Debra Calhoun, three great nieces: Micca Steen, Lowanda Steen, Beverly Calhoun, four nephews: Rory Calhoun, Ray Wilson, Jr, Bryan Wilson, and Davonte Dixon, his cousin Sharon Landon of San Diego, cousins Jamie Carr, Charles Howard, William Jackson, Larry Jackson, Eric Jackson, Bonnie Jordan, Marva Biggers, Carol Payne, Sherri Biggers, and Debbie Biggers of California, and many cousins in Texas.