Retired Harford County Circuit Judge Edward D. Higinbothom died Sunday after a heart attack at his Bel Air home. He was 81.
Judge Higinbothom served on the Circuit Court from 1974 until his retirement in 1984. After his retirement, he occasionally sat on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Circuit Courts in several counties.
Judge William O. Carr, the administrative judge in Harford County, described him as "a truly outstanding judge who was highly respected by both judges and lawyers."
He also said that in addition to his other work on the bench, "Judge Higinbothom was the Orphan's Court for Harford County."
He explained that the Orphan's Court in the county was abolished and its work was transferred to the Circuit Court the same year Judge Higinbothom, an expert on probate and testamentary law, joined the bench.
Born in Ellicott City but raised in Bel Air, Judge Higinbothom was educated at St. Margaret's School, Loyola High School, Loyola College and the University of Maryland law school. He graduated from college in 1934. He completed law school and was admitted to the bar in 1938.
Before starting to practice law in Bel Air, he taught at Loyola High and worked as a reporter for the Bel Air Times.
During World War II, he served in the Army in England.
Before becoming a judge, he served as the lawyer for and a member of the board of Forest Hill State Bank.
An usher at St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church since age 18, he helped do the legal work for the establishment of the John Carroll School and served on its board.
He was the recipient of many awards from the Bel Air Rotary Club, which made him a life member last year.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Margaret's Church in Bel Air.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, the former Dorothy Blevins; three sons, Michael Higinbothom of Street and Joseph LTC Higinbothom and Andrew Higinbothom, both of Bel Air; a daughter, Anne Petersen of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.; a brother, John B. Higinbothom of Baltimore; a sister, Margaret H. James of Havre de Grace; and four grandchildren.