Salt Lake Retired Firefighters Association


In Memory . . .

William Stewart Higham III
1925 ~ 2011

Born September 5, 1925, to William Stewart Higham, Jr. and Leah Gourley Higham in Salt Lake City, Utah. He passed away in Southern California the morning of December 31, 2011, after a 7-year struggle with pulmonary fibrosis.
Bill had just celebrated the 65th anniversary of his wedding to bride Colleen Eulalia Bircumshaw on December 14, 1946.
He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and Korea. On his return, he became a 3rd generation Salt Lake City fireman. Captain Higham retired from firefighting after almost 30 years on the department. His then part-time job turned into that of full-time assistant manager at W.W. Grainger. A few years later Bill moved his family to Oregon to become manager of the Eugene branch. After retiring from Grainger's he spent another 12 years going to work in the dark to make sure everyone had their Register-Guard newspaper. He instilled this same work ethic in his six children. Bill and Colleen also nurtured over 30 foster children as they raised their family.
He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife. He was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Colleen and six children - William S. IV and son Billy; Brian (Katherine) and children Anastasia and Elias; Leah Ann (Michael) and daughters Tristan and Caitlin; Steven; Susan (David) and daughters Tandy and Amie; Morgan (Angela) and two great-granddaughters, Acacia and Eden.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Stewart and Leah, and his siblings - sisters Katherine (Dale) Rogers, and JoAnn (Alvin) Kohles and brothers Morgan (Ella Deane), Lee (Janice), and Jack (Patti), and his best friend Don Edgington.
Bill never lost his sense of humor and verbal wit, bringing smiles to his family and caregivers to the very end. He was a quiet and humble man of great integrity who loved sharing a good campfire and a cold beer.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Bill by his nephew, the Reverend Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, Vicar General for the Diocese in Salt Lake City, at the same time Mass is being celebrated at Saint Columban Catholic Church in Garden Grove, California, with family in attendance.
In lieu of flowers the family asks any donations go to a hospice care service near you.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on January 8, 2012



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