Roberta Higginbottom, 87, educator on Shore

August 28, 2006|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Roberta M. Higginbottom, a retired Eastern Shore educator who was active in her church, died of pneumonia Thursday at her Tunis Mills home where she had lived since 1950. She was 87.

She was born Roberta MacRae in New York City, the daughter of immigrant parents from Scotland, and raised in Jamaica, N.Y.

She earned a bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1939, and a master's degree in zoology from Wellesley College in 1941.

"My parents met each other when they were both working for the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund and were married in 1941," said a daughter, Pamela Lee Carey of Towson.

After her husband, Arthur R. Higginbottom, also an educator, completed his service in the Naval Reserve, they moved to Tunis Mills.

Mr. Higginbottom, who retired as assistant superintendent of Talbot County public schools, survives.

From 1959 to 1978, Mrs. Higginbottom taught biology at Easton High School, where she established the J. Willard Davis Chapter of the National Honor Society.

She was a former member of All Faith Chapel, an Episcopal church; and Christ Episcopal Church in Easton, where she had helped organize a kindergarten. She also published The Church Scroll, the church's monthly newsletter, with her husband.

Mrs. Higginbottom enjoyed traveling by Airstream trailer, the quintessential 1930s-style recreational vehicle. "She was an `Airstreamer,' and with my Dad had traveled throughout the U.S., New Zealand, and South Africa by Airstream trailer," her daughter said.

Mrs. Higginbottom was an accomplished oil painter who liked to paint still lifes and Eastern Shore landscapes. She also enjoyed needlework and sewing.

She was a member of the Talbot County Country Club, where she golfed.

"She also loved to do Scottish country dancing," her daughter said.

Services for Mrs. Higginbottom will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Easton.

Also surviving are two sons, Dr. Philip A. Higginbottom of Leucadia, Calif., and Dr. Mark A. Higginbottom of Easton; another daughter, Claudia Parsons of West Chester, Pa.; and nine grandchildren.

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