TUSCALOOSA Retired Army Colonel Norman D. Higginbotham, 71, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama passed away peacefully in his home on November 18, 2013. Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, November 22, 2013 at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel. Burial with full military honors will follow in Tuscaloosa Memorial Park. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.
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Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Florence Martin.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Cris Higginbotham; his daughter and son-in-law, Monika and Craig Wedgeworth; his brothers, Buddy Martin and Joe Higginbotham; and grandchildren, Jacob and Evan Gragg.
Norman was born on February 24, 1942 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was part of the Tuscaloosa High School graduating class of 1960, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1963. Norman retired from the U.S. Army in the rank of Colonel with 29 years of service. During his distinguished career, he served two combat tours in Vietnam, two overseas tours in Germany, numerous stateside assignments including service on the Joint Staff, and culminated his career as the Chief Of Staff of Southern Command in 1989 during Operation Just Cause. His leadership and dedication played a significant role in deposing the dictator, Manuel Noriega, and in restoring democracy to the Republic of Panama. COL (Ret) Higginbotham's military awards and decorations include two Legion's of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Award, the Vietnam Service Medal with 7 bronze stars, and numerous other distinguished awards. Norman retired in 1992 from Cumberland, Pennsylvania where he served as the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency and settled back into his hometown of Tuscaloosa.
During his retirement, he enjoyed his time with his grandchildren, Jacob and Evan. His honorable service to this Nation will not be forgotten, and he will be missed by his friends and family.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Nov. 21, 2013