Obituary Details

Nellie Ellen Higinbotham

(03/18/1917 - 12/30/1945)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 01/03/1946


Word of the death of Nellie DeGering Higinbotham came as a shock to friends and relatives here on Sunday, when her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Degering received the message that she had died suddenly at the U. S. Veterans Hospital at San Francisco. Her mother and sister, Miss Esther DeGering, spent a week with her recently, leaving there the 3rd of December, at which time her physician encouraged the family by assuring them that she was improving. It seems that a sudden collapse of her lungs caused her death.

Mrs. Higinbotham was a graduate nurse of Mercy Hospital in Denver, receiving her diploma in 1940, and shortly afterward took up nursing in Fitzsimmons General Hospital, where she contracted tuberculosis. Last August she was taken to the California hospital in the hopes that the change of climate might prove beneficial.

The shock of having her husband, T/Sgt. Kenneth a. Higinbotham, killed while on a mission over Germany, in October 1943, may have contributed to her illness.

Her brother, Lt. Milton DeGering, landed in Seattle from Japan, January 1st, and happily telephoned his parents of his arrival, unaware of his sister's death. He hopes to be able to get home in time for the funeral service, which as yet is indefinite, but word was received by Mr. DeGering on Wednesday that the remains would be shipped from San Fernando Wednesday evening.

Mrs. Higinbotham was well known here, having been raised on her parents' ranch north of Lusk. She attended high school in Lusk and graduated with the class of 1934.

Besides her parents, she leaves two sisters, Mrs. Virginia Bryant and Miss Esther DeGering, and three brothers, Lt. Milton DeGering, in the service; Leonard, Lusk High School senior, and John, a grade school student.

The Lusk Herald
January 10, 1946
Last Rites Held For Nellie Higinbotham

The last rites for Mrs. Nellie Higinbotham, 28 years of age, were conducted at the Peet Chapel on Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Rev. Laurence Juell, pastor of the Lusk Congregational church, paid the final tribute and the songs, "Meet Me There" and the "In the Garden" were sung by a quartette composed of Miss LaVern Johns, Mrs. Sam Thomas, Mrs. Ezra Duncan and Mrs. Emerson Bonner. Mrs. J. P. Watson was the organist.

Life-long friends and schoolmates carried the remains to the last resting place in the Lusk Cemetery. They were Dan Hanson, Gaylord Anderson, John Goddard, Allen Clark, Robert Scott and Leslie Roberts.

Nellie Ellen DeGering Higinbotham was born March 18, 1917, near Hat Creek Wyo. In this community she spent her childhood and young womanhood, graduating from Lusk High School with the class of 1934. While in high school she was active in the Pep Club, Glee Club, basketball, and was a member of the Order of Jobs Daughters, Bethel No. 10. The following year she took post-graduate work at Lusk and on Easter was baptized and became a member of the Baptist Church.

Nellie chose the career of a nurse and took her training in Rapid City, S. D. and at Mercy Hospital in Denver, graduating from the latter school in May of 1940. The first year after graduation she did private duty nursing in Denver, then accepted a position as civil nurse in the Veterans Hospital at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On January 1, 1942, she was married to Kenneth A. Higinbotham of Denver, who soon after enlisted in the Air Corps. The two were able to be together most of Kenneth's training, prior to his being sent overseas. A few months later Nellie became head nurse in a tuberculosis ward at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver. In October of 1944 she was forced to give up her work, as she had contracted tuberculosis, and on December 30, 1945, passed away at the San Fernando Sanitorium in California.

Preceding her in death were her husband, T/Sgt. Kenneth A. Higinbotham, who was killed when his plane was forced down by enemy action, and was buried in Switzerland in October of 1943, and a brother, Kenneth Clayton, who passed away at Lusk in May, 1939.

She leaves to mourn her passing, her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Albert DeGering; two sisters, Mrs. Virginia Bryant and Esther DeGering; three brothers, Lt. Milton Degering, Leonard and John DeGering, all of Hat Creek.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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