Jolene Higginbotham

 Jolene Higginbotham

Jolene (Bloodworth) Higginbotham of Lubbock died Sunday, May 7, 2017 and peacefully left this world surrounded by three generations of her family and a few dear friends.

Jolene was born October 8, 1928 in Childress, Texas to parents Arlene (Wood) and Joe Bloodworth, who were in farming and ginning in Whiteflat/Four Corners for many years.

Jolene attended Whiteflat and Matador schools, graduating Valedictorian from Matador High School in 1946, and maintained friendships from Motley County throughout her life. Following high-school graduation, Jolene attended North Texas State College (now University of North Texas) in Denton, studying Piano Performance before her marriage to Vernon Higginbotham, also of Whiteflat/Matador on June 15, 1948. Following Vernon’s graduation from Texas Tech in 1948, the couple moved to Houston, as Vernon began his career with Arthur Anderson.

Together, they raised three daughters, Betty Waits (Charlie), Nancy Palmer (Tommy) both of Lubbock and Jan McClure (Weaver) of Denton. The sisters remember their mother at the piano, often accompanying their dad as he sang for them in his lovely tenor voice.  It wasn’t long before it became a family affair, with the sisters often joining their parents at the piano. The grandchildren remember Jolene and Vernon spontaneously breaking into song during special family gatherings. Vernon would suddenly offer the first line of a song, Jolene would answer with the second line; and then they would continue the song in harmony. They knew every verse of most hymns and standards from the 1940’s, and listening to them was a joy. The family moved from Houston/Dallas to begin a mid-life career change in the community of their childhoods, and began farming in 1963. In 1979, they moved to Lubbock, and Vernon re-entered accounting for Plains Cooperative Oil Mill until his retirement in 1989. Jolene continued playing piano, occasionally for those in retirement communities, and often for her grandchildren.

Jolene was preceded in death by her parents: Joe and Arlene Bloodworth, her husband Vernon Higginbotham, and sister Rosemary Anderson. She is survived by her daughters Jan and husband Weaver McClure, Nancy and husband Tommy Palmer, Betty and husband Charlie Waits; six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at First United Methodist Church Lubbock. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6-8 on Friday, May 12, 2017.

The family would like to give a special thanks to her caretaker and friend, Julia Mireles for her loving care over the years, as well as her wonderful caretakers over the last couple of weeks; Lisa, Keri, Ethel, Gayla, Maria, Gloria, Debbie, and Ruth.

Memorial donations may be made to First United Methodist Church Friends of Music Funds in Memory of Jolene Higginbotham; Attn: Jeanine Austin, 1411 Broadway St. Lubbock, TX. 79401.  Online-condolences may be made at

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