Celebration of Life for James Bill Tiggas; Founder of the Tucson Invitational Games and owner of the Arizona Heat

James Bill Tiggas, beloved father and grandfather, died Monday, December 4 in Tucson. He was 66 years old. Jim was born in Minneapolis on May 9, 1957 to Francis and Bill Tiggas. He spent his childhood years with brothers Mark (Jan), Chris (deceased 2004), sisters Joanne (Mike) and Gigi (Shaun).

As a young adult living in Minneapolis, Jim’s adventurous spirit drove him to engage in a variety of business endeavors including, owning a bar, buying a farm, and traveling across the country as a mini doughnut concessionaire, all while fathering his only child, Matt Tiggas. Jim also had a passion for the game of softball. In 1999 he moved to Tucson and by 2002 he founded the Tucson Invitational Games (collegiate spring training) which continues to thrive today. In 2004 he was instrumental in the development of the National Pro Fastpitch league and owned Arizona’s first professional fastpitch team, The Arizona Heat.

Amongst his enthusiasm for sports, he was also passionate about the restaurant and food industry and was a concessionaire for Tucson community events like, Tucson Meet yourself, the annual Gem Show and the Swap Meet. His greatest legacy will be his vibrant outlook on life, his involvement with local City and County Sports & Tourism events and most of all, the boisterous fun and love he shared with his friends and family. His proudest moments can be remembered by his grand smile just watching his three grandchildren grow, along with watching the Minnesota Twins win a game or two.

In addition to his son Matt, Jim is survived by Matt’s wife (Kandice), three grandchildren (Micah, Kapri, Maddux) and his lifelong partner, Jose, who has been by his side for 21 years. A Celebration of Life will be hosted on January 12 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Children’s Outdoor Performance Center (COPA) located within Lincoln Park. 8155 E. Poinciana Drive.

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