Marion – Paul Grady Higginbotham, 55, passed away in his home on Tuesday the 7th of March 2017.
Paul was born to Yvonne (Fletcher) Higginbotham and Paul Grady Higginbotham in Mildenhall, England on July 16, 1961.
Paul is survived by his father Paul Grady (Phyllis A. Brenner) Higginbotham of San Antonio, Texas; brother Michael (Leslie Figge Chatillon) Fletcher of Newport Beach, California; brother Kevin (Patti) Higginbotham of Plano, Texas; and sister Dawna (and friend Bill Jarvis) Daigle of Park City, Missouri.
Paul was a competitive swimmer excelling at breaststroke. He swam for various teams in Panama and in California. One could always find him wherever there was a pool swimming laps and perfecting his turns, including at the HUB in Marion. Surfing became his passion after moving to California.
Paul graduated from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, California in 1979. Following a brief stint in the Marine Corps, Paul became an accomplished welder working for several companies in California. Locally, Paul worked as a welder at Southern Pride, and for various welding shops fabricating and repairing coal mining equipment. Paul also worked locally helping to repair and restore pipe organs at several churches throughout southern Illinois. More recently, Paul worked as a caretaker at Zion United Church of Christ and Marion First Christian Church.
As his father was an Air Force pilot, Paul was privileged to have lived in many places around the world including England and Panama. Stateside, he lived in Omaha, Nebraska; Dayton, Ohio; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; El Paso, Texas; and Newport Beach, California. Upon the death of his grandfather Delos Fletcher in 2003, Paul relocated to Marion in 2004 to care for his mother Yvonne (Fletcher) Higginbotham and Grandmother Muriel (Hearn) Fletcher.
Paul was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Marion. He drove the church van bringing elderly churchgoers to Sunday services. He also drove church members on various church sponsored field trips throughout Illinois. In addition, he often worked the sound board and helped pass collection plates during Sunday services.
Paul will be cremated. Blue Funeral Home in Marion is taking care of the arrangements.
A small celebration will be held at First United Methodist Church on Main Street on Sunday, March 26th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
Those wishing to make a memorial donation are asked to contribute to the church or charity of their choice in his name. But in lieu of flowers and donations, Paul would ask that you take this moment, turn to and embrace your family and your loved ones today, as no one knows what tomorrow may bring.