Lives Lived: Paul Higginbotham |

Lives Lived: Paul Higginbotham

Paul W. Higginbotham died Feb. 3. He was 70.

A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Lake Wildwood Cedar Room.

He was born to William and Louise Higginbotham in Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 3, 1939.

He received a bachelor of science degree from Northern Illinois University in 1961, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega.

He earned a master’s degree in economics from California State University, San Jose, in 1991.

Mr. Higginbotham served in the United States Navy and Coast Guard from 1962 to 1965, as a lieutenant, JG, and was stationed in Cordova, Alaska. In 1964, his ship was engaged in the search and rescue effort following the 8.6-magnitude Great Alaska Earthquake.

He later worked as a computer programmer for IBM in San Jose, Calif., and retired after 25 years.

Mr. Higginbotham married Connie Jean Peterson in 1991, and they moved to Lake Wildwood in 1996, starting the dynasty that now includes many extended family members.

He was an active member of Lake Wildwood and Grass Valley. He served on the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury in 2003; he served on various Lake Wildwood committees and established and maintained the association’s Web site.

He was passionate about bridge, attended many tournaments, and attained the rank of bronze life master. His love of the game inspired him to re-establish the Duplicate Bridge Group in Lake Wildwood, and he became a certified bridge director and instructor. His “bridge family” included the Nevada County Duplicate Bridge Group.

Mr. Higginbotham was an accomplished pianist and loved playing during family gatherings and community events.

But his greatest love was his family. He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, who will miss his engaging smile and sense of humor.

Mr. Higginbotham is survived by his best friend and loving wife Connie; children Amy Wright and Andy Higginbotham; grandchildren, Chris and Sarah Wright, and Aidan and Brett Higginbotham; and sisters, Jean Lucas and Linda Netherland.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Sue Gaubatz.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Higginbotham’s name can be made to the Nevada County Library “Save the Penn Valley Branch.”

Arrangements are by Chapel of the Angels Mortuary and Crematory, Grass Valley.

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