Charles R. Higdon Jr., a retired engineer and former owner of Machinery and Equipment Sales Inc., died Monday of complications after heart surgery at Washington Hospital Center. The Mays Chapel resident was 87.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Higdon was a 1941 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, and two years later, enlisted in the Army Air Forces, where he served as a flight engineer aboard B-29 Superfortress bombers.
After the war, he enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1949. He worked for Bendix, General Electric Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. before joining Machinery and Equipment Sales Inc. in the mid-1950s.
Mr. Higdon eventually purchased the Hampden company, which in addition to M&E Sales Inc. included Machinery & Equipment Systems Inc.
The former longtime Towson resident, who moved to Mays Chapel in 2004, sold his company to Honeywell International Inc. in 1999 and retired.
He had been president of the Engineering Society of Baltimore and was a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Johns Hopkins Club.
Among his cherished memories, family members said, was meeting and talking with Babe Ruth, golfers Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, Olympic figure skating champion and actress Sonja Henie, and Cal Ripken Jr.
He was active in the Boys Scouts during the 1960s and 1970s.
Mr. Higdon was a skier and enjoyed the sport until he was 79. He was a Colts, Ravens and Orioles fan. He also enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City.
He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Friday.
Surviving are his wife of 59 years, the former Dorothy Beksinski; five sons, Charles R. Higdon III of Allentown, Pa., Jeffrey F. Higdon and Mark W. Higdon, both of Lutherville, John L. Higdon of Champaign, Ill., and R. Emmett Higdon of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Kimberly A. Higdon of Glendale; and 10 grandchildren.