John Higley, 85John Charles Higley died June 26, 2009 at his home in Centralia, Washington.
John Charles Higley died June 26, 2009 at his home in Centralia, Washington.
John was born to Walter and Frieda (Lorenz) Higley on May 31, 1924 at Long Beach, California. Shortly thereafter, his parents moved back to Minnesota where they farmed near Forada. John attended the rural Union Lake grade school.
In 1938, he moved with his parents to a farm in rural Osakis. He attended Alexandria High School and graduated in 1942. During the summer of 1942, he enrolled in War Training Services. The program was discontinued after he completed the fourth course in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He then married his high school girlfriend, LaVonne Koch, who at that time was a Civil Service employee at Wright-Patterson Air Base in Ohio, after which LaVonne returned to Ohio and John started his Air Force career by going to radio school at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
He became an intercept radio operator in the security service branch of the Air Force. His first overseas assignment was at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and also English and Dutch Borneo. With his family he was stationed in air bases in Indiana, Florida, Texas, California, Japan (Kyushu and Hokkaido) and Alaska, with one tour in Fairbanks and three in Anchorage.
After serving 23 years in the military, he retired from Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage and made his home near Miltona by Lake Irene. He worked for United Telephone in Alexandria for 17 years.
John had many hobbies including photography, ham radio, wood carving, wood working, rock hunting, lapidary and reading.
He and Lavonne moved to Centralia, Washington in 2003.
He is survived by his wife, LaVonne; daughter, Linda Higley and husband, Roger Porter, of Chehalis, WA; daughter, Kathryn Reed and husband, Doug Reed, of Oak Harbor, WA; son, Jack Higley of Palmer, AK; daughter, Rebecca Byrne and husband, Dan Byrne, of Evansville; grandson, Michael Higley of Miltona; granddaughters, Kimberly Hall of Centralia, Claire and Greta Hobbs, Sydnee and Danica Byrne of Evansville; brother, Merle Higley of Nelson; sister, Jean Arvidson of Rockford; one great-grandson; two great-granddaughters; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Terry Higley, of Eagle River, AK.
A memorial service was held July 18. Arrangements were with Newell-Hoerlings Mortuary in Centralia, Washington.
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