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William Calvin Higginbotham

Obituary Condolences

William Calvin Higginbotham William died August 17, 2011 in Bellflower, California at the age of 93. Born May 30, 1918 in Oak Park, Illinois to Mack Kay Higginbotham of Arkansas and Grace Gertrude Voyles of Kansas. Bill attended Anderson High School in Anderson, Indiana, graduating in 1938. He became involved in the YMCA's Young Peoples Club in 1939 where he met the love of his life, Olivia Estella Charlebois. They were married June 26, 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was trained in San Francisco in medical x-ray. He served overseas in England during WWII as a sergeant tech 4 with the 117th General Hospital Unit where he was responsible for x-raying and caring for injured combat soldiers. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with citations and decorations for Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Ribbon and a WWII Victory Ribbon. In 1950, Bill and Olivia settled permanently out West in Downey, California where they raised their five daughters. Bill worked as an industrial radiographic interpreter for Alcoa Aluminum at their Vernon and Corona plants until his retirement in 1980. He was instrumental in developing unique and specified centering lights and other innovations for x-ray equipment, which made the process more efficient at all Alcoa plants. The Higginbotham family's faith centered on St. Dominic Savio Church in Bellflower. Bill converted to Catholicism in 1966, and eventually became a Eucharistic minister and lector. In their retirement years, Bill and Olivia bicycled miles toward healthy living before settling down to the senior bowling league at Keystone Lanes. In recent years Bill could also be heard calling Bingo for the Savio Seniors. He will always be remembered for being a constant inventor, designer, and builder. Tinkering in the garage or pounding out the keys on his computer, he was creative and fearless at trying something new and having numerous projects going at the same time. He is survived by his wife, Olivia; and his daughters, Diane Diyorio, Jeannette Higginbotham, Grace (Ron) Forman, and Mary (Dennis) Lawrence; his granddaughter, Michelle (David) Parsons; and great-grandchildren, Michael (Bridget) Preiss, Jeffrey Preiss, Brittany Grossman, Nicholas Grossman, Kati Forman; and many other nephews, nieces, and relatives. A rosary will be recited on Friday, August 26, 7:00 p.m., and a Mass on Saturday, August 27 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Dominic Savio Catholic Church, 13400 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower, CA 90706. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the church's "SDS Video Projection Screen" fundraising project in Bill's name. Please sign the guestbook for William at www.presstelegram.com/obits.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Aug. 24, 2011
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