Elaine Higginbotham

Elaine Higginbotham

Elaine Higginbotham

Elaine (Schoeneman) Higginbotham, known as “Dolly” to friends and family, was born February 24, 1922 in Pasco, Washington.  She was the youngest of five children born to Clarence and Rena Schoeneman.

Dolly moved to Port Angeles, WA in her early 20’s, where she began a career in the service industry, working variously as a waitress, hairstylist, bartender and bar owner.   In 1948, Dolly married Virgil Phillips.  Their son Robert was born in Seattle in 1958, and was followed by daughter Terri in California in 1960.  Dolly lived in Bellevue, WA until her second marriage to Irving Higginbotham, in 1982, when they moved to Kirkland WA.

Dolly passed away on July 4, 2009 due to complications following open heart surgery.   She is survived by first husband Virgil Phillips of Camano Island, son Bob (Lisa) Phillips of Woodinville and daughter Terri Phillips of Kirkland; as well as six beloved grandchildren, Lexi and Cody Phillips; Deanna, R.J. and Alyssa Rusch; and Lindsey (Chris) Schreck.   She is also survived by her sister, Eunice.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her other siblings and in 2005, by her husband Irving.

Dolly was a world-class storyteller and had an infectious laugh.   She made friends wherever she went with her passionate, sometimes feisty, take on life.  Dolly will be remembered for her love of gardening, playing cards (just ask Vicki), her chicken-fried steak, her bottomless generosity and her fierce loyalty to friends and family.  She looked forward to her annual trip to Alaska to see her nephew Gary and his family, and to her nightly glass of bourbon and water, along with the Channel 7 news.   Dolly was active and engaged in her life right up to the time of her passing, including her top priority, the many activities of her children and grandchildren.

Dolly will be sorely missed, but never, ever forgotten.    Her memory will live on in the minds of the all those fortunate enough to have had her unique presence grace their lives.

A special thanks to our friend James Whitfield who was with us at the hospital and on call the entire time.  She called him her “body guard”.  Our family is so grateful to James and his family.

A graveside service will be held Friday July 17, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. at the Kirkland Cemetary.

The memorial service will be held Friday July 17, 2009 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church located at 3030 Bellevue Way Ne, Bellevue WA.

4 Responses to “Elaine Higginbotham”

  • Sue Keller says:

    Dear Terri, RJ and Alyssa,
    What a beautiful and moving tribute to a beautiful & feisty woman. I am glad that I had the chance to know her, if only briefly.
    love, Sue Keller

  • Terri (Kimbrel) Houlahan says:

    To the family,
    I am so sad for your loss – she will be greatly missed – but NEVER forgotten, yes, Dolly was one feisty little old gal. She was a true, dear friend to my mom, Jo Kimbrel. I am so glad that I had the chance to know her as well, Dolly was always very nice to me – even inviting me to tag along on lunch outings with her, my mom, and their other good friend Carolina West.
    with love,
    Terri Houlahan

  • Mary Wagner-Kimbrel says:

    I really don’t know what to say. When Dolly called before her surgery just to say, “thanks for always being such a good friend to me”, she took me by surprise. I should have known there was a chance she wouldn’t make it and she was giving ME closure. That’s so like her to think of everyone else instead of herself. I met her too late in life to enjoy the wild and crazy side of her, but I did love her stories. I’m going to miss her so much (and Irv). I’m sorry I always “just missed” you Robert and you Terri. We haven’t met yet, but I’ve heard a lot about you and the help you gave your mom. I’m just so sorry for your loss. I’ll never forget Dolly or her laugh. That smile was so loving and honest. You were the real deal Dolly and I’ll always remember you. Mary Wagner-Kimbrel

  • Tony Kimbrel says:

    To Dolly’s Family & Friends,
    I’m sorry for your loss. Dolly was loved by so many and will be deeply missed. The date of her untimely death is somehow befitting such a firecracker of a personality. We’ll miss you Dolly. Tony Kimbrel

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