James J. "Jim" Higginbotham
James J. "Jim" Higginbotham, age 95, of Ocean Springs, MS passed on Friday, September 27, 2013 in Pass Christian, MS. He was born November 3, 1917 in Youngsville, LA as the 8th child of 13 children of James and Marie Higginbotham.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Nelson, Charles, Martin, Belin (Bill); his sisters, Laura, Mae, Annette, Marie (MiMi); 3 siblings who died at birth; his 1st wife Thelma; and 2nd wife Myrtis.
He is survived by his 5 children from his 1st wife Thelma: sons, Gary, Carroll (Mary K.), John, all of Ocean Springs, Eugene (Ila) of Saucier; and daughter, Mary Grace (John) Watts of D'Iberville; 5 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; his brother, Stephen "Nook" of Lafayette, LA; & numerous nephews & nieces.
As a youth he worked the cane fields of South, LA before the family moved to Biloxi to work in the seafood industry. He later became a master boat builder on the Gulf Coast. During WWII he was pulled from the draft along with other master boat builders from the Gulf Coast to work in different yards along the Gulf Coast on Defense projects. Jim built 11 Texas trawlers & 2 Biloxi lugers in his own boat yard in Biloxi in the 1940's & early 1950's. He began his career in the shipbuilding industry in 1953 with Ingalls, where he worked until he retired.
He was a long standing member of the French Club in Biloxi and served as president several times. He was a lifetime member of Knights of Columbus and lifetime member of 4th Degree. Jim loved dancing at the French Club, VFW and Mardi Gras Balls.
After his retirement he spent most of his time on his farm tending to his pecan trees and cattle. He was a devout Catholic and member of Christ the King Mission Church in Latimer. He is best known by family and friends for his delicious pecan pies.
The family would like to thank Dr. William Striegel & his staff at Bienville Medical Clinic in Ocean Springs, Pinnacle Hospice of D'Iberville and especially Kim Zuilly and her wonderful staff at Pass Oaks Assisted Living in Pass Christian for all their care and understanding during his illness.
Visitation will be held at the Howard Avenue Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home on Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with Rosary at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, September 30, 2013 at Christ the King Mission Church in Latimer at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Biloxi City Cemetery. View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com
Published in The Sun Herald on Sept. 28, 2013