Leon Higginbotham, 71, a resident of Salem, Ore. and a former resident of Leavenworth, died Dec. 5, 2012 at his home in Salem.
Leon was born at Old Joe, Ark. to Everett and Zella (Cox) Higginbotham on Nov. 1, 1941. He moved with his family to Leavenworth in 1949, Willamina, Ore. in 1952 and it was there that he graduated from high school in 1959. In June of that year, he enlisted in the United States Navy and became a jet engine mechanic. Leon served aboard the Aircraft Carrier Hornet and the Kitty Hawk during the Viet Nam War. While in the Navy in San Diego, he met and married Jerrolyn Bordelon. After receiving his honorable discharge in 1967, he continued working as a jet engine mechanic for several years. In the early 70s, he moved back to the Northwest, spending a few years in Coos Bay, Ore. with his brother Dan. He later returned to Washington, spending his time between Seattle and the Wenatchee Valley working as a logger. In 1999, he made his final move back to Salem where he lived until his death.
Leon is survived by his daughters, Julia Collins of Paso Robles, Calif., Betsy Higginbotham of San Diego and son, Michael Higginbotham of San Diego; brothers, Owen Higginbotham of Peshastin, Paul Higginbotham of Cashmere; sister, Carolyn Howard of Salem, Ore.; nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Zella Higginbotham; brother, Dan Higginbotham; sisters, Doris Weyer, Muriel Krehbiel and Verlee Miltenberger.
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Peshastin American Legion Hall.