Cover photo for Charles Willson Higham's Obituary
Charles Willson Higham Profile Photo
1931 Chuck 2023

Charles Willson Higham

March 2, 1931 — August 17, 2023

Shelley

On August 17, 2023, Dr. Charles (Chuck) Willson Higham, of Shelley, peacefully passed at the age of 92. His seven children spent the previous few days at his side sharing stories and reminiscing about his lifelong accomplishments. There is no doubt that countless people benefited from his kindness, generosity, and love of others.

 

Chuck was born March 2, 1931, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the second son of Joseph Lawrence Higham and Katherine Marie Goettsche Higham. When he was about one month old, the family returned to Swan Valley, where the longtime Higham family property remains. Chuck attended Rainy Dell Grade School in Swan Valley, and later moved to Idaho Falls in 9th grade to attend and graduate from Idaho Falls High School.

 

Chuck met his future wife, Rehle Ellison, at Idaho Falls High School where they both played in the band. Chuck and Rehle both attended the University of Utah after high school. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on December 16, 1952. Chuck and Rehle were married for almost 70 years when Rehle passed in March 2022. He missed her so much. She was truly the love of his life. They first lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Chuck attended veterinary school at Colorado State University. They briefly returned to Idaho Falls where their first daughter, Susan, was born in 1953. Two years later, Joe L. was born in Fort Collins. Chuck graduated in 1956 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Commission as a lst Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. His small family returned to Idaho Falls for 10 months where he worked for Allen Animal Clinic in Idaho Falls. Ten months later he reported to Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. After Gunter Air Force Base, he spent the remainder of his service at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Celeste, their third child, joined the family in North Carolina.

 

After his military service, in 1959, Chuck, Rehle, and their three children returned to Eastern Idaho and purchased a home on the highway north of Shelley. They converted the garage into a veterinary office for Higham Veterinary Clinic. Chuck practiced veterinary medicine, primarily large animal care, until he was 90 years old. While living in Shelley, four more children were born: Cynthia, Jerry, Jamey, and Jordan.

 

Chuck was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served in many callings over the year including Bishop of the Shelley First Ward, High Council, Priests Quorum Advisor, and several scouting positions. He was awarded the Boys Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth in 1992. When their last child, Jordan, went on his mission, Chuck and Rehle served a mission in Tampa, Florida.

 

Chuck’s childhood was spent in Swan Valley where his dad introduced him to fishing, and deer, elk, duck, and goose hunting. His love of hunting was shared with his own children and his many close friends and their children in his “hunting group.” Although hunting was one of Chuck’s loves, his love of sports was renowned. This love of sports started early. He watched his brother, Eddie, play baseball; and his parents spent hours hitting grounders and pop flies so he could practice.  His older children remember several summers at Tautphaus Park where Chuck frequently played in the Idaho Falls fastpitch softball league. One year he was voted the best defensive infielder in the league. He also coached Little League baseball for several years. The number of ball games and golf matches Chuck attended are too many to count. He faithfully and willingly attended every event to watch his children and grandchildren play baseball, basketball, football, golf, and track. He was recognized for sportsmanship at a high school state basketball tournament. This fall will be the first sports season he’s missed in decades.

 

Chuck also continually supported the community through his service to youth and his church. He served on the Shelley School District School Board for three 3-year terms beginning in June 1972. In 2009, Chuck and Rehle were recognized as the Grand Marshalls of Shelley Spud Days.

 

Chuck is survived by his seven children: Susan Buescher (Charles) of Ammon, Idaho; Joe L. (Karlene) of Shelley, Idaho; Celeste French (Kelly) of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Cynthia Fielding (Brian) of Firth, Idaho; Jerry Higham of Shelley, Idaho; Jamey Higham (Melissa) of Eagle, Idaho; and Jordan Higham (Kara) of Shelley, Idaho; 25 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Steve Austin (Claire), St. George, Utah; sister-in-law, Shawna Strobel, Rexburg, Idaho; and several nieces, nephews, and good friends. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Rehle; his brother, Edward (Eddie); and a daughter-in-law, Amy Higham (Jerry).

 

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Monday, August 21, 2023, at the Shelley First Ward, 184 North Park, in Shelley. The family will visit with friends and loved ones on Sunday, August 20, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at Nalder Funeral Home, 110 West Oak, in Shelley, and from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the church prior to services. Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery in Shelley, Idaho.

 

Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVgEV-cTxkDv2FPDSKR4T6g/videos

 

The family wishes to thank Jordan and Kara Higham and family for their care while Dad lived with them. In addition, Aspen Home Health and The Gables of Shelley are deeply appreciated for their loving support and care.

 

The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to the Rehle Higham Art and Dance Scholarship Fund at Bank of Commerce in Shelley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Willson Higham, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, August 20, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Monday, August 21, 2023

10:30 - 11:45 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, August 21, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Monday, August 21, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 1850

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree