Robert (Bob) Higgins July 6, 1924 - November 25, 2012. Bob, a Bakersfield resident since 1966, died Sunday of pulmonary fibrosis. A native of Toronto, he traveled with his family via Calexico to Los Angeles when he was two years old. He lived in Highland Park and Glendale, graduating from Hoover High School. In 1943 Bob entered the Army and was sent to Kalamazoo College under the Army Specialized Training Program. The following year, he was sent to Oregon to join the 383rd Infantry Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division and assigned to the 3rd Battalion. From there he went to Camp Callen (Torrey Pines) for amphibious training. The Army arranged for Bob to become a naturalized citizen. He had not been able to enlist but was drafted instead! The battalion, with its new American citizen, sailed from San Francisco, stopping in Hawaii on the way to landing on Leyte in 1944. On Easter of 1945, radio operator Bob, still just 20 years old, landed on Okinawa (where he earned a Bronze Star), then shipped to Mindoro Island to begin preparations for the assault on Japan, which fortunately was avoided due to the war's end. Following his discharge, Bob attended U.S.C. on the GI Bill where he earned a petroleum engineering degree. After graduation he worked for General Petroleum Corporation (Mobil) in California and Eastern Venezuela. In 1953 he began his career with Halliburton Services and worked in Bakersfield, Santa Fe Springs, Ventura, Los Angeles and then finally again in Bakersfield. Bob, a quiet man, was a thinker. He read voraciously and watched foreign and historical films. After retirement he loved playing golf with the Goofy Golfers. With his wife, Eloise, he enjoyed good food and wine and the many trips to wineries and vineyards in the United States, Australia and Europe. A loving, kind, caring and humorous man, he loved his family most of all. He is survived by his loving wife, Eloise (they would have been married 59 years November 29), sons Jerry and Jim (Joan) Higgins and five grandchildren: Colin (Erika), Tyler, Jeffrey, Michelle and Bryan. The family would like to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. William Baker for his many years of compassionate care. We also want to thank Dr. Nick Hansa, Dr. Eric Peck, and the outstanding Memorial Hospital nurses and respiratory therapists on the telemetry floor and in the ICU. A memorial service will be held at the Hilton Hotel, 100 West Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, at 12:30 PM on Monday, December 3, followed by a light lunch. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 30, 2012