Tag Archives: Higginbotham

Rufus Earl Higginbotham, Jr., 85 Years loved!

Rufus Higginbotham
Rufus Earl Higginbotham, Jr.
25 Mar 1934 – 1 Mar 2020

Rufus Earl Higginbotham, Jr., my father, passed away on March 1, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. It’s taken me quite a while to be able to write this. This was a really hard one. I never thought Dad would last very long without Mom, but he sure gave it a good ole try.

In the end, his heart and body just simply gave out on him because he I know he wasn’t ready to go anywhere even though I know he missed Mom something fierce. He was a fighter til the end.

I thought I would just share here what I wrote out for his Memorial as it sums him up pretty good. I couldn’t read it that day, but my brother Butch read it for me. Dad would have been very proud of the friends and loved ones that showed up for him that day. It was a wonderful tribute to him.

From the memorial:

I would like to say that my Dad was a man of few words, but as everyone here knows, that simply isn’t true.  He had many words, and mostly inappropriate ones.  He was funny and loved a good joke as long as he wasn’t the butt of one.  He loved telling jokes with a good shock factor and in fact, one vivid memory I have as a young teenage girl was him calling me into the kitchen to tell me a joke.  When I arrived, John and all his friends were there, most of which I probably had a crush on at one time or another.  So, Dad called me over by him and they all stood as silent as I did, waiting on the joke.  He put his arm around me and pulled me close and said, “Susie, I’m going to tell you a joke that is going to knock your boobs off.”  He looked down at me, smiled and said, “Oh, I see you have already heard it.”  Of course, the kitchen filled with cackles and I was mortified.  But that was Dad.  I didn’t get to spend much time with him as a kid, his passion was hunting and fishing and that’s where he was most of the time.  But when we were together, he would take me fishing on Indian Head Lake and I loved sharing that time with him.  As I grew older, and Mom and Dad spent so much time at the racetrack, I tagged along.  I loved going to Oaklawn with them.  One time, either Dad or someone else with him super glued a silver dollar to the ground right outside of their row of seats in the main walkway and we spent hours watching and laughing at the people trying to pick that silver dollar up.

My Dad was generous.  If you needed something and you called him, then he would do his best to give it.  He always told me his favorite thing to give someone was credit that they couldn’t get anywhere else, because he believed everyone deserved a chance to make a good living and he wanted to see people succeed.

He wasn’t known much for patience unless he was waiting on that deer to walk by or that fish to bite. But as he grew older, and especially since Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I realized his patience was never ending.  He answered each of her questions, the exact same way, with love and kindness, no matter how many times that day she had asked the same question, and no matter how many times he had repeated the answer.  One time I counted in the car; he handed her a red tube of lipstick 22 times because she couldn’t remember putting any on, and he did so each time with a smile on his face.

Dad and I were able to really bond over the last three years that he lived here with me.  It wasn’t always easy, but we were team Mary Helen and after she passed, we were team Rufus.  I wouldn’t trade one minute, the good ones or the hard ones that I spent with them.  I promised I would never put them in a nursing home and somehow, by the grace of God, I was able to keep that promise and I would do it all over again, if given the chance. 

However, there was a time two years ago, that I didn’t know how I was going to make it, or if I was going to be able to keep that promise, and then Ashlie Tanner showed up.  She brought her “A” game and got me through that hard time, and over the last two years she has guided me through, offered support and comfort and lovingly cared for my parents as if they were hers.  It has been something I truly could never repay to her and I thank you, Ashlie, for everything you have done for me and my family, from the bottom of my heart.  I love you so much.

I also want to thank my kids for sharing me with my parents, for their sacrifices as well, and for being so loving to their grandparents.  I love you both so much.

Of all the things you know about my Dad, there is one thing you may not know about, and that was his faith.  He had a strong faith, and it never wavered.  He prayed for a miracle for my mother right up until she took her last breath.  About a week before he passed, we talked about his defibrillator, and that I thought it was time we turned it off.  He wasn’t so sure about that, and I asked him if he was scared and he said “No”.  I told him I knew Mom was up there waiting on him, tapping her foot and asking Jesus, “What’s taking Rufus so long?”  Of course, Mom was the one that had no patience.  He smiled at that and said he couldn’t wait to see her again.  Three days later, as he was in and out, he grabbed at the air, and said “Come sit here Baby Doll.”  There is no doubt for me, they are together again.  I will miss them terribly, but I have great joy knowing they are together again.

He thought of his friends as family, and I know he loved each one of you here in this room.  I know this because I heard him pray for each of you every night.  Thank you all for coming and thank you for being good friends to my parents.

RIP in Dad. I love and miss you terribly.

Category: Memoriam | Tags:

Mary Helen Higginbotham, 83 Years Loved!

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Mary Helen Higginbotham
March 30, 1936 – May 18, 2019

My beloved mother, Mary Helen (Parks) Higginbotham passed away on May 18, 2019 after a 13 year battle with Alzheimer’s. There aren’t enough words to convey how deeply we feel this loss and what a terrible nightmare Alzheimer’s really is. We honored her wish to stay at home, and she died surrounded by her family, and she was loved and nurtured every minute of her life.

The one thing that gets me through, is knowing she didn’t know how bad it was. She no longer lives in fear and constant confusion every day because she didn’t know the people surrounding her. Her mind is restored and she is free from the burdens of that ugly disease and I have no doubt she is smelling every flower in God’s garden right now.

Oh, how she loved her flowers and yard. She worked tirelessly in her yard, and it was so beautiful. We took so many trips to flower shows, garden centers, beautiful gardens and anywhere she wanted to go to see some flower or a tree, or a new yard ornament she needed.

Most of all, I would like you to know how giving my mother was. If she saw a need, it didn’t matter if you were family, a friend, or even a stranger, she did her best to help. She went above and beyond. My favorite Christmas as a little girl was when she sponsored a family, and absolutely filled their home with everything they needed and more. I will never forget the joy in those kids eyes at their new clothes and toys, and how their mother just cried and hugged my mother endlessly it seemed to me. I felt such pride and joy as I helped place all the food in the their cabinets and knew they were going to have as good of a Christmas as we did. Christmas was my mother’s favorite time of year! Oh, how she loved her Snow Village and I just remember how mesmerized all of her grandkids were standing around looking at all the buildings, lights and moving parts.

She and Dad were married for 54 years, and her unconditional love for him was truly amazing. She wasn’t apart from him very much, but when she was, all I ever heard about was how great of a man he was, how much she loved him and she never wavered on that. Not once did I ever hear a bad word about him come out of her mouth. If they ever argued, I never once heard it. She taught me to love, and to love hard and to hold on to those you hold dear. That every single person deserves compassion and care.

When I was 13, she took me for the first time to War Eagle Mill for my first craft show. We went every year after that until about 10 years ago when it just became too hard for her to go. Every year that I went, at her suggestion, I bought a dish for my “hope chest” which turned into just adding them to my collection. I went yesterday into my cupboards and counted 24 pans. 24 years of a week long vacation with my mother that I have so many treasured memories from.

I could go on an on about just how special my mother truly was, but if you knew her, you already know this! No explanation needed. If you didn’t know her, you missed out on one amazing woman!

I would love for you to share a memory of her with me below if you have one, or please sign her online memorial at : https://www.rosewoodcremation.com/obituary/237

Rest in peace, my beautiful Momma. I love you, a bushel and peck. A bushel and peck, and a hug around the neck. And I’m talking in my sleep about you!!

Category: Genealogy | Tags: ,

Throwback Thursday – Chairs From The Past

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This picture of my Dad and I, as you can see, goes way back.  The chair he is in, has been in the barn for the past decade or so, along with its mate.

Me and Dad

Me and Dad

I realize you can only see the back of the chair, but it’s the only picture I could find of the chair actually being used.

Every time I mowed my yard and put the mower up, there sat the chairs.  One of them held the grease gun for the mower, and it just happens to be the only picture I have of it before we took it apart.  You can see the left over mess the grease gun left.  I just couldn’t stand seeing them in the barn, especially when I could use a couple of good chairs.

Old Chair

Old Chair

So I drug them from the barn to the house and Phillip and I spent part of Valentine’s Day taking them apart. Then a few days later I recovered the cushions, with the help of Phillip’s upholstery gun. Man I loved that thing.  I wanted to staple everything.  Even my finger got stapled once.

New Cushions

New Cushions

Next, I used his sander, and sanded the chairs really good, and then spray painted them with a combined paint/primer spray paint i bought from Lowe’s.  Cause I don’t have time for multiple paintings.  By the way, I used 2 1/2 cans for these two chairs.

Chairs being painted

Chairs being painted

Then I made patterns out of the old pieces of leather Phillip took off of the top parts of the chairs with freezer paper.  Ironed the shiny side of the freezer paper to the new fabric, and then cut them out and it worked perfect.  Then I added some shiny brads to the back to add a little detail.

Adding details to the chairs

Adding details to the chairs

Please ignore laundry day going on in the back ground.  Phillip then screwed the cushions back on, and here they are.  My redone chairs that hold special memories for me.

Finished Chairs

Finished Chairs

How is this for a before and an after?

Before and After

Before and After

All in all, I am so pleased.  I saved some family heirlooms from the barn, and added new life to them.

I also got to spend Valentine’s day with a great guy.

Thank you Phillip for helping me.

All Good Things Must Come To An End!

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But why???  Because it must!  I must return to my children, husband and family before they send out a search party.

I had so much fun here in the DC area with cousins and my niece Leslie.

Last Wednesday I flew up to DC and had literally had my head in the clouds, the day was absolutely beautiful looking at the clouds.

Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds

Last Thursday, I went to the DAR headquarters and did research, and found out I have a total of eight American Patriots.

DAR Headquarters

DAR Headquarters

On Dad’s side of the family, I have Thomas Bullard.

On Mom’s side of the family I have Isaac Ball, Jacob Dennard, John Smith Jr., Abraham Neighbours, William Hooks, John Roberts and Godfrey Shelton.

So amazing!  And the good thing was I was able to copy things out of their files like on Lt. Jacob Dennard for instance, I now have a copy of the original pay stubs from the American Revolution.  Top that!  🙂  Of course I also collected wills, bible records, and general information about the family.  I think the DAR headquarters is one of the best sources around for genealogical information.

Then on Friday I went to the National Archives and pulled and actually held in my hand a copy of the muster rolls for Sanford Higginbotham from the Indian Creek Wars in 1836.

Sanford Higginbotham Muster Roll

Sanford Higginbotham Muster Roll

I also held in my hand a copy of the muster rolls from the war of 1812 for my great-grandfather Ben Martin.

Benjamin Martin Muster Roll

Benjamin Martin Muster Roll

Then on Saturday, Leslie and I hung around her apartment and watched Six Feet Under all day while working on genealogy and cleaning and organizing some things in her apartment.  Well, mostly she did that but I did assist a bit.  It was a good day at any rate.

Then, on Sunday, we went and got pedicures and drove to Fredericksburg, VA to meet our Hooker cousin.  Ok, close your mouth, not a real Hooker, a cousin with the surname Hooker.  As a family with “Hooker” as a surname of my Ancestors, I’d truly like to thank Gen. Joseph Hooker for ruining the good name and making it feel dirty to say.  Doucher.  I mean, the whole time we were there talking, it was just awkward to talk about Hookers in front of Jamie’s children.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of all of us together, but I forgot!  How stupid!  Anyway, we figured out we are 3rd cousins 2x removed and we all had a great time visiting and getting to know each other.  I really look forward to getting to know Jamie and her husband a lot better.

Then, on Monday, I met up with my 3rd cousin Jim Marsh and we headed over to 3rd cousin John Dawson’s house in McLean, VA where we spent the day scanning photos and other family documents from the Ball side of my family.  It was totally awesome and John surprised me with a video he had taken interviewing his grandmother, Gladys Ball Gregg back in 1985.  To hear her talk about family and my ancestors, was truly a treat.  With John’s permission I will be sharing some of that soon!  This is John and his lovely wife Ann.

John and Ann Dawson

John and Ann Dawson

This was a favorite find of mine, a picture of my great Aunt Dorothy with Jim’s mother Bonnie Harkness Marsh.  I love both of these women.

Bonnie Marsh and Dorothy Johnson

Aunt Dorothy Johnson and Bonnie Marsh

Then on Tuesday, Jim and I met back up and we back to the DAR for a bit, and then Jim left and went to visit some other cousins, and I went to the Smithsonian American History Museum and back to the National Archives for a while and just killed time until Leslie got off work.  Then we had a nice dinner, and went to a movie.  A rocking movie theater with recliners.  How fun and relaxing!

At the movies reclining!

At the movies reclining!

Now, today I’m packing up and will spend the day traveling by planes, trains and automobiles.  Let’s just hope I have an easier time than John Candy did.

52 Ancestors – #19 Wevie Henri (Anderson) Ball

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week 19, and my nineteenth post.  Please meet my great-grandmother, Wevie Henri (Anderson) Ball.

Wevie (Anderson) Ball

Wevie (Anderson) Ball

Wevie was born to John Edward Anderson and Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson on 19 Dec 1884 in New Boston, Bowie Co., Texas. I blogged about her mother Mary, here:  52 Ancestors – #8 Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson.

As I posted about her mother in the above post, her mother Mary passed away in 1891 when Wevie was just 6 years old.  This is the earliest picture I have of Wevie, with her father, John E. Anderson.

Wevie Anderson and JE Anderson

Wevie Anderson and JE Anderson

I’ve posted this picture before of Wevie with her sister Smithia, but I have to again because I love it. Wevie is on the left and Smithia on the right.

Wevie and Smithia Anderson

Wevie and Smithia Anderson

In 1892 her father John remarried a wonderful woman, Eva Dalby. She raised Wevie and Smithia as if they were her own children. I don’t know why all stepmother’s get a bad rap?!?  Do you?

 JE Anderson,  Eva Anderson with Wevie Anderson.  I don't know who the young man is.

JE Anderson, Eva Anderson with Wevie Anderson. I don’t know who the young man is.

This next picture of Wevie looks to be around her teenage years or early adulthood.  My cousin Sam has a huge portrait of this one hanging in his home and it’s beautiful.

Wevie Anderson

Wevie Anderson

One thing about it, she could have been in fashion magazine’s. Here she is with a cousin, Daisy (Wever) Missildine. This must have been some special occasion.  Daisy is on the left, and Wevie on the right.

Daisy and Wevie

Daisy and Wevie

While growing up, Wevie’s father owned the local Confectionery Shop and the Telephone company, and the switchboard was in the back room of the Confectionery Shop and Wevie helped operate the switchboard.

Switchboard in the back of the Drug Store in New Boston, owned by John Anderson

Switchboard in the back of the Drug Store in New Boston, owned by John Anderson

I bet Wevie knew ALL the town gossip!  Seriously, my only experience with a town switchboard is from watching Little House on the Prairie and we all know what Mrs. Olsen did, that ole nosy busybody!  tee hee.  I don’t know if Wevie did that or not, but I’m sure it was tempting!

I found this picture at the New Boston Library, in New Boston, Texas. You can see in this picture she has her ear piece on.

John Anderson and Wevie Anderson Telephone Operators

John Anderson and Wevie Anderson Telephone Operators

I heard a few stories about Wevie growing up, and one that I heard was told to my father by Wevie herself.

She said back in the day before they had cars, she and her family traveled by wagon. One day she and Smithia were traveling with their father and they needed to stop and relieve themselves. Well, there were no rest stops so you just pulled over walked out in the grass and relieved yourself. Well, just as she and Smithia started on this task, another wagon came by and Wevie jerked her dress down, but Smithia threw her dress up over her head. After the wagon went by, Wevie asked her, “Smithia, why did you do that??” Smithia calmly replied, “Well, they will see your face again and know who you are and what you were doing, but they will never see my ass again, so they won’t know it was me or what I was doing!!”

We’ve gotten a big kick out of that story over the years.

On April 6, 1910, Wevie married Samuel Hartwell “Bye” Ball. I found this wedding announcement in her bible, and this picture of Wevie in her wedding dress.  I think she was a beautiful bride.

Wevie Anderson Ball in her Wedding Dress Apr 1910

Wevie Anderson Ball in her Wedding Dress Apr 1910

Wevie Anderson Marriage Announcement

Wevie Anderson Marriage Announcement

This next picture of Bye and Wevie looks to be taken on a boat and it looks so romantic!  I love to see men and women dressed up like this.  This is not what society looks like today!

Wevie and Bye Ball

Wevie and Bye Ball

And how about this? You’ve see this in movies, but here it is in real life! How sweet!

Bye and Wevie Ball

Bye and Wevie Ball

They look like they really knew how to have a good time!  I love the bathing suits, but can you imagine swimming in that?

Bye and Wevie Ball on left other couple unknown

Bye and Wevie Ball on left other couple unknown

Bye and Wevie had four children. One baby girl was stillborn and the other three children were amazing people who were each very special to me. First, was Aunt Dorothy and boy did I love her, then Uncle Son was everyone’s hero and one of the best men I knew and last but not least, there was my grandmother, Poo, one of the greatest loves of my life.

I don’t know much about Wevie, but I do know that she raised beautiful children, inside and out.

Mary (my grandmother), Sam (Uncle Son) and Dorothy (Aunt Dot)

Mary (my grandmother), Sam (Uncle Son) and Dorothy (Aunt Dot)

One of the cool things that I  found out about Wevie at the Hooks library was that she had confirmed my birth to the family historian, Cathaline Stern, Man! This made my day!

Wevie Confirms My Birth

Wevie Confirms My Birth

Unfortunately, I don’t really remember anything about Wevie, but I was around her as a baby and toddler. In the next photo, I’m the baby on my mother’s lap and Wevie is next to her.  I love this four generation photo!

John HIgginbotham, Mary Helen Higginbotham, Susanne Higginbotham, Wevie Ball, Mary Parks

John Higginbotham, Mary Helen Higginbotham, Susanne Higginbotham, Wevie Ball, Mary Parks

Here are a couple of pictures of Wevie and Bye.

Bye and Wevie Ball

Bye and Wevie Ball

Bye and Wevie Ball

Bye and Wevie Ball

Wevie lived a very long and beautiful life, I’ve never heard an unkind word about her. Aunt Dorothy’s grandson Marc Burch told me he thought Memaw Ball inherited the Coke Float because she always made him one when he would visit her and it was the best he ever had.

Wevie (Anderson) Ball

Wevie (Anderson) Ball

Here she is with her children, in 1974 celebrating her 90th birthday.

Aunt Dorothy, Memaw Ball, Uncle Son, and Poo

Aunt Dorothy, Memaw Ball, Uncle Son, and Poo

Wevie died on December 3, 1975, sixteen days before her 91st birthday.

Wevie Ball Obit

Wevie Ball Obit

Wevie is buried in the Chapelwood Cemetery, in Texarkana, Texas.

Bye Wevie Ball Headstone

Bye Wevie Ball Headstone

This is how I descend from Wevie.

Me to Wevie Anderson Ball



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