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.