Category Archives: Memoriam

Remembering Gary Higginbotham

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I feel like I can finally write about Gary, and what his loss means to me, so here goes.

Gary Higginbotham

Gary Higginbotham

I wish I could say that I had known Gary my whole life but that’s just not how it was. My parents, both born and raised in Texarkana, moved away to the Little Rock area before I was ever born. I didn’t have the privilege of growing up around my paternal grandparents, or any of my aunts, uncles, or even any of the many cousins I didn’t even know about. I didn’t even know another Higginbotham relative existed outside of my immediate family unit, until 2011.

I met Gary for the first time on the 23rd day of May, 2011 when a desire to know more about my family became a mission of sorts. Cousin Nedra Turney took me to meet Gary and Bessie. We had an instant connection and Gary filled a gap in my heart that I didn’t even know existed. After that first meeting, we spent hours, and if you know Gary at all, you know I truly mean hours, chatting on the phone. These chats almost always pertained to his love of his family. I learned about my grandparents from him. I learned about his parents, his children and his grandchildren. He had a passion for his family, unlike any I have ever seen before.

Gary and Bessie

Gary and Bessie

His love for Bessie, was evident and strong. I admired his devotion to her. He told me one time, “Every morning Bessie and I get up and have coffee together and sit and talk. Sometimes we talk for a long time, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes I just enjoy her presence before we even start our day. She’s my everything and there isn’t one thing I will ever want to do or will do if Bessie isn’t included.” He was devoted to her and loved her immensely, and it showed.

Gary and Bessie

Gary and Bessie

The day of Gary’s funeral Bessie, who just happens to be the strongest woman I have ever known, told me, “When I first met Gary, I didn’t know how to love. I was bitter. I thought all men were mean and I didn’t even know how to hug my own children because that isn’t how I was raised. Gary taught me to love. His endless hugs, and kind words, and his constant loving affection towards me, taught me how to love. ”

What a true testament to the character of Gary. He also taught me what love was and what was missing from my life, just by how he treated Bessie. I see the same in my father towards my mother. Gary and Bessie were married 46 years, and my parents have been married for 50 years, just this past September. What strong, wonderful Higginbotham men.

I learned many things from Gary. I would come for visits and we would drive all over town and he would point out all the places that were dear to his heart, and they were always centered around his family, past or present. I heard the stories of his childhood, his youth, and his adulthood. We laughed and always had a good time when we were together.

I know how much he loved his children and grandchildren. I already knew his youngest son Milton, but he wanted me to meet his son’s Gary Jr., and Mike so bad. He would call me up and say, “When are you going to Crossett with me? Mike is coming in town can you come? Don’t wait until my funeral to meet my boys!” Sadly, that is just what happened. Gary’s health seemed to decline and he never really felt like he could get far from home. I’m sure Gary knows that even though I met them at his funeral, we will stay in touch and never lose track of the family again, because that was important to him.

In the short time that I knew Gary, he taught me what true love means. He opened his heart and his home to me and treated me like a daughter. I will never forget the wonderful times I spent with him and they will fill my heart forever more. He was like a father to me, and I will always love him dearly. He was my buddy, through and through and I will always be grateful for the time I was given with him.

The best way to honor Gary is to love your family. Show them what love is, and let nothing get in the way. If you love someone, don’t waste time. Show them. Treat them like Gary treated Bessie. Life can go in an instant. Do you want to leave people wondering how much you loved them? I can guarantee you one thing; no one around Gary could ever doubt that he didn’t love him or her. He showed them, and he told them.

What I wouldn’t give for one his teddy bear hugs right now!

Rest in peace, Gary. I miss you.

Category: Memoriam

RIP – Edward Joseph Baker, Jr.

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John Higginbotham, Addie (Baker) Higginbotham, Eddie Baker, Bette (Baker) Jarreau

John Higginbotham, Addie (Baker) Higginbotham, Eddie Baker, Bette (Baker) Jarreau

My sister-in-law Addie (Baker) Higginbotham (my brother John’s wife) lost her father this morning.  He was such a precious man and he will be dearly missed.  Please send prayers and comfort to Addie and her brother Doug Baker, and her Aunt Bette Jarreau for their loss, as well as their families and the many friends that will miss Eddie.

We will post more information when we know more about the arrangements.

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RIP – Cousin Terry Dodd

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Our family started off the New Year on a down note. We lost our cousin, Terry Dodd. Terry is my second cousin on my Dad’s side of the family. Please pray for my family, and Terry’s immediate family as they adjust to life without him. I’m sending my prayers their way too.

Terry Dodd

Terry Dodd

Terry Doyle Dodd age 57, of Texarkana, Texas, died Wednesday, January 1, 2014 in a Tyler, Texas, hospital.

Mr. Dodd was born June 15, 1956 in Texarkana, Arkansas and was a lifetime resident of Texarkana.

He was owner and operator of Dodd’s Deer Processing Co. in Texarkana and attended Echo Hills Baptist Church. He was also a former member of the Texarkana Boots and Saddle Club. He began his career at Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store at the age of sixteen. After learning the grocery business he began working for DeLaughter’s Grocery and became manager of the Meat Department. After working there several years Terry opened his own meat processing business and was a very successful meat cutter for over forty five years.

He is survived by his wife: Patty Dodd of Texarkana, Texas; two sons: Randy Dodd and Ricky Dodd both of Texarkana, Texas; his mother and stepfather: Ruby and Dewie Edward Higgs of Texarkana, Texas; one brother: Gary E. Dodd of Texarkana, Texas; one sister and brother-in-law: Elaine and Tommy Brooks of Texarkana, Arkansas; brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Jimmy and Debbie Jones of Texarkana, Texas;one step brother, Glen Cummins of Austin, Texas; one half brother, Benny Dodd of South Carolina; one half sister, Diane Robbins of Pensecola, Florida; three grandchildren; and a number of nieces,nephews and other relatives.

Funeral services will be 10:00 A. M. Monday at Chapelwood Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Truman Campbell and Eddy Haynes officiating. Burial will be in Chapelwood Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 P. M.

The family will be at 2607 Shady Pines Rd., Texarkana, Texas 75501.

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Charles Arthur Smith 1980 – 2013

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Today, my 2nd cousin Hayley James Smith will lay her husband to rest.  Less than a year ago we nearly lost Hayley while giving birth to her sweet baby boy Jackson Layne Smith.  She’s a fighter though and truly a miracle.  I know God has awesome plans for her, but please pray for her and the children as they navigate through these very hard times.

Friends are setting up a meal train, and donations would be appreciated for the children to the scholarship fund at Red River Federal Employees Credit Union acct #739517

Charles Arthur Smith

Charles Arthur Smith, age 32, of Texarkana, Texas, died Monday, May 27, 2013, from injuries received in an auto accident.

Charles was born June 15, 1980, in Texarkana, Texas. He was a graduate of Texas High School and was an employee of Direct TV.

Survivors include his wife, Hayley James Smith of Texarkana, Texas, one step-daughter, Carson Brooke Law of Texarkana, Texas, two sons, Charles Austin Smith and Jackson Layne Smith of Texarkana, Texas, his mother and step-father, Wanda and James Lee of Texarkana, Texas, three sisters, Tonya Smith Berton of Texarkana, Arkansas, Ashley Smith and Lori Irving of California, and four brothers, Sam Smith of Texarkana, Arkansas, Dewayne Smith and Edward Smith of Texarkana, Texas, and Johnny Lovette of Dallas, Texas.

Memorial services will be at 4:00 P. M. Friday at the Chapelwood Funeral Home with Rev. Josh Lee and Rev. Hal Haltom officiating.

Memorials may be made to: Scholarship Fund for his children, Red River Federal Employees Credit Union.

Smith Family

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In Memory of James J. Metcalf

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Another one of our precious cousins has gone home to the Lord.  He will be dearly missed here by all of his family.  May he rest in peace.

James Junior Metcalf

James Junior Metcalf

In the early morning of Friday, January 18, 2013 James Junior Metcalf slipped gently from this earthy life at the Grace Home in Shreveport, La. with his daughter by his side to go to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He anticipated joining loved ones who had preceded him there – especially the love of his life, Mittie Marie Grigson Metcalf, for whom he cared through 13 years of illness…living out their marriage vows: “in sickness or in health…”.

A memorial service honoring Mr. Metcalf’s 91 years of life will be celebrated on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. at Centuries Memorial Funeral Home Chapel at 8801 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, Louisiana. The Associate/Senior pastor of Brookwood Baptist Church, Rev. John Harp, will minister. Visitation will be prior to that service from 3:00 p.m. until service time. The Burial will take place on Monday, January 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sylverino Church Cemetery in Texarkana, Arkansas.

James Metcalf was born in Ashdown, Arkansas on July 14,1921 and reared there by his parents, James Henry Metcalf and Rose Ella Brown Metcalf, where he played football in high school. James was retired from the United States Navy, a veteran of World War II and a Pearl Harbor survivor. “With the exception of the Suez Canal, I traveled around the world,” he said, his ship having docked on both sides of that canal. After his Navy career ended in 1961, James went to work for Day and Zimmerman in Texarkana, Texas as a millwright from where he retired a second time.

He was for many years an active member of Cornerstone Baptist Church (formerly Calvary Baptist) in Texarkana, Arkansas, prior to his move to Shreveport, Louisiana in 2004 to be near his daughter and her family. He then joined Brookwood Baptist Church where he was a member of the Andrew Sunday School Class.

Besides his parents and his wife of 54 years, Mr. Metcalf was predeceased by an infant daughter, Mittie Ann Metcalf, and his only son, James David Metcalf. Three brothers, Henry, Arry and Cecil Metcalf and two sisters, Irene Ash Waggoner and Florence Metcalf also predeceased him. He is survived by his daughter, Marilyn Huber and her husband, Brian. Three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, precious to his heart, survive to cherish his memory and to tell his stories: Jonathan Huber and his wife, Staci, and their children, Haley, David and Paul Huber, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas; James Huber of Houston, Texas; and Emily Marie Huber Seale and husband, Matthew, and their daughter, Ella Claire Seale, (and a baby daughter due in the spring), of Bossier City, Louisiana. His dearly beloved sister, Jeraldine Metcalf Fuller, a sister-in-law, Edith Grigson, a brother-in-law, Brosie Grigson, in addition to numerous dear nieces and nephews, survive as well.

The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the following: Carol Bullock, Martha Cook, and Loraine Lee of Brookwood’s homebound ministry, who visited our daddy faithfully during his Shreveport years; The Glen Retirement Center staff and the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home staff, who cared lovingly for him while he lived with them; and the staff of the Grace Home who have made these last days easier for daddy and for our family. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of his Sunday School Class, Asa Curtis’ Andrew Class. Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Sunday, January 20, 2013 | 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Centuries Memorial Funeral Home
8801 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, LA  71108 | (318) 686-4334
Funeral Service
Sunday, January 20, 2013 | 4:30pm
Centuries Memorial Funeral Home
8801 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, LA  71108 | (318) 686-4334
Graveside Service
Monday, January 21, 2013 | 11:00am
Sylverino Cemetery
Hwy 71, Texarkana, TX

You can view a wonderful video that the family put together here.

Our prayers are with you and your family Marilyn as you get through this difficult time.  God Bless.


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