Cover photo for William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr.'s Obituary
William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr. Profile Photo
1945 William 2023

William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr.

November 27, 1945 — September 4, 2023

Long Beach, MS

William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr. (known as Bill), age 77, of Long Beach, Mississippi, passed away early Monday morning on September 4, 2023, after a brief stay at Canon Hospice in Gulfport. 


Bill was born November 27, 1945, the first son of mother Billie and Lynn Higginbotham, in St. Petersburg, Florida. He spent his high school years in Georgia Military School in Atlanta, Ga., and spent 3 years of college at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg. 


His primary years of employment were spent primarily in aspects of the freight industry. He began his career as a simple billing clerk in Hattiesburg, and moved on to small engine repair at Sears. He became a counter salesman at Hawkins Electric in Hattiesburg, all working to prepare him for his future work. His next job was as a Supervisor at Rodeway Express in Baton Rouge, LA. He moved and became a Traffic Analyst for one year at Litton Industries in Pascagoula, MS, and from there became a Supervisor at Red Ball Motor Freight in Gulfport. He moved to Shreveport, LA and worked as a Service Rate Clerk at Roadway Express. In 1979 he became the Claims Prevention Supervisor for Terminal Transfer and Storage, an agent for Saia Motor Freight in Baton Rouge, LA. This led to becoming the Terminal Manager and Salesman for Saia Motor Freight in Gulfport, where he worked until 1997. His last job was as the Manager of Laidlaw Transportation (later to become First Student), which manages school busses for the Gulfport and Bay St, Louis school districts. He retired in 2013.


Bill had many and varied hobbies and interests. He loved sailing, first learning to sail as a child in St. Petersburg. He had a 24-foot sailboat which he loved and cared for. He also loved and was very talented in music. In his early years, he played in a rock band, carrying his Hammond organ from place to place. He sang in several choirs, singing bass and with perfect pitch. This included the church choir at First united Methodist in Gulfport, of which he was a member. He was also a member of the University of Southern Miss Civic Chorale at Gulf Park, of which he was a member since 2005, after Katrina. He accompanied the Southern Miss Chorale on their winter tour to Europe after Katrina. He sang and chaperoned the Long Beach High School on a trip to Europe, singing in London and Paris. The highlight for him was singing in the Notre Dame Cathedral. He was a member of the Gulf Coast Messiah Choir for the last 5 years, and he also enjoyed just listening to smooth jazz. He was a member of the chorus for the Gulf Coast Opera production of Sweeney Todd.


Another interest he had was Ballroom Dancing, learning at Amour Danzar, and reaching silver level with his wife, Marianne. He performed several exhibitions with his wife. His favorite was tango in which he excelled. 


Reading became his favorite hobby, with a big interest in espionage. His favorite writers were Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Clive Cussler, among others. He had a fascination with steam engines, because his grandfather had worked on trains. He was the real handyman, and could fix almost anything from cars to washing machines, or anything electrical, and even did some woodworking. 


Lastly, he learned to enjoy travelling with his wife and her family, who travelled everywhere, including riding a camel at the Egyptian pyramids. He was always a joyful participant, fun-loving, and humorous, reveling in each adventure, with a great sense of humor.


Bill was preceded in death by his parents; Billie and Lynn. He is survived by his loving wife, Marianne, who will miss her dancing partner; his beautiful daughter, Courtney Claire; two wonderful grandchildren, Hawke Allyn and Rowan Sybileigh; his younger brother John; and two kitties, Max and Phantom.


Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023, at First United Methodist Church, 2301 15th Street, Gulfport, MS. Friends may visit one-hour prior to service. A reception will follow in the church sub-basement. William will be cremated.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research at, or the Parkinson Foundation at, or the Alzheimer Association at


The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at Merit Health in Biloxi who were so very helpful and caring, working to make things easier for Bill and the family in the end. We also want to thank everyone at Canon Hospice in Gulfport for all they did to make Bill’s last days comfortable, as well as the family, from the nurses to the chaplains. Thank you! 


Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family and friends of William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Lynn Higginbotham, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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