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Higbee, Martin Richard "Dick"
Martin Richard Dick Higbee, 82, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer.

He was born March 15, 1928 at home in Kirkwood, Ill the son of M. Virgil and Mary Edith Van Cleave Higbee.

He went to Liberty School and graduated from Avon High School in 1946. He was active in the school band and public speaking. He was president of the Junior Class and Illinois State President of the Future Farmers of America in 1946. He attended the University of Illinois at the Galesburg Campus from 1947-1948.

He first married Marguerite J. Zimmerman on June 25, 1950 in Smithfield, Ill. He later married Harriet E. "Betty" Forbes on April 21, 1983.

Surviving are two sons Gary (Nancy) Higbee of Roseville, Ill and Roger (Julie) Higbee of Davenport, IA; three daughters Jean Higbee of Roscoe, Ill, Jan (Bill) Lawrence of Normal, Ill and Jolene Hennenfent of Galesburg, Ill. He had 13 grandchildren Jennifer, Brandon, Tony, Cody, Karen, Farrah, B.J., Tiffany, Kristen, John, Kate, Austin and Brett and 6 great grandchildren. Also surviving is a stepson, Rob Galusha of Ft. Myers, FL and three stepdaughters, Tina Galusha of Ft. Myers, Fl, Tami (Jeff) Bumpus of Bonita Springs, FL and Michelle (Jeremy) Stokes of Monmouth, Ill and 10 step grandchildren. He has two brothers Jesse Higbee of Monmouth and Charles (Betty) Rico Higbee of Clinton, IA; and one sister Ann (John) Benoit of San Luis Obispo, CA. He is preceded in death by two brothers J. Arlee and Virgil Larry, two sisters, his twin sister Betty J. McGee and Grace E. Hall and one grandson Eric Ballard.

He had many jobs over the years, including farming, construction, shoe salesman at Bowmans in Monmouth, Appliance sales at Roseville Furniture and Appliance and Sears, feed salesman for FS and worked at the Standard Oil Fertilizer plant in Cameron, Ill. He got into the insurance business in 1959 and retired in 2009. Although he made a living in the Insurance business and enjoyed talking with all his clients, his first love was music. Since the age of 8 when he spent many weeks in the hospital listening to the radio, he wanted to be a "Big Band Leader." He played with many groups over the years and even had his own combo "Dick and the Drifters." In 1980 he formed the Starduster's and his dream came true. He and his big band performed for 30 years. In spite of all his jobs, he found time to be a Boy Scout Troop Leader and a member of the Lions Club. He was a member and deacon of the Cameron Christian Church. He also served on the Church board. He was a volunteer firefighter. Dick also was President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer of the AFM Musicians Union Local 178 and a member of the Monmouth Masonic Lodge #37. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and being with his family.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 AM Saturday May 22, 2010 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. The Rev. Paul Lydic will officiate. Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 PM Friday evening at the chapel with Masonic services at 5:00 PM by the Monmouth Masonic Lodge #37. Burial will be in Center Grove Cemetery Kirkwood, Ill.

Memorials may be made to the United School Band Program or to the Children's Miracle Network c/o University Hospitals in Iowa City IA. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.
by Newsroom
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