EB Foote’s Rich Higginbotham Passes Away; Memorial 9/21

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E.B. Foote's Rich Higginbotham, March 20, 1947 – September 15, 2008. Son, Brother, Husband, Winemaker, Best Friend.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of our Advertisers – Rich Higginbotham of E.B. Foote Winery passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Sept. 15th from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

He was 61.

As a tribute to Rich, a special wine will be bottled and labeled next year. Called “Remembrance,” the label for this red table wine will include Rich’s photo from above. When released, 50% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

An open house will be held at E.B. Foote Winery this Sunday, Sept. 21 from Noon – 6pm to share memories and celebrate his life. At his request, in lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to the Alzheimer’s Association for further research into this dreaded disease.

To donate online, click here, then select the third choice, “Tribute/Memorial donation (to honor someone)” and enter Rich’s name where appropriate.

Our condolences go out to Sherrill, Rich’s family, friends, co-workers and the entire E.B. Foote Winery family.

Here is his obit as provided by E.B. Foote:

Rich is survived by Sherrill Miller, his wife of more than 34 years; his sister Betty Brabban; in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.  He was born and raised in Nitro, West-by-God Virginia, a small town outside of Charleston.

He would often tell stories about his growing-up years — being in Cub Scouts, parking cars for events at the town Moose lodge, mowing lawns to make money, painting the local water tower with high school buddies, sneaking out of the house after dark, lifeguarding during summer vacations at Lost River State Park, playing in the high school marching band, and his time in the Army during the Vietnam era. He was discharged from the Army in 1971 at Fort Lewis and decided to stay in Seattle to experience life on the other coast. He met Sherrill in 1972, and that same year he went to work at the King County Jail in food service. After a short time he became the Food Service Supervisor, planning menus and ordering food for more than 1500 inmates and staff.

In 1991 he and Sherrill decided to buy E. B. Foote Winery in south Seattle. They had never made wine before, but they learned together. They were making award-winning wine by their second vintage. In 2001 he retired from King County to become a full-time “wineaux.” The winery was growing and he was passionate about winemaking, striving to make the best possible wines.

In 2003 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. He and Sherrill worked together to keep the winery going. As Rich became less able to do “wine work,” Sherrill gradually took over more and more responsibilities. Even when he was unable to help at all, he still enjoyed being at the winery and listening to Sherrill speak to groups about the winery’s beginning. In May 2008 he needed more help than Sherrill could provide, and he went to live in an adult family home until his passing.

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