James A. Higday passed away peacefully from natural causes on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at his home in Casper, Wyoming.
Jim was born March 14, 1931, in Burns, WY to Homer A. and Ruth M. (Constable) Higday. He went to school in a one-room schoolhouse not far from the farm where he grew up. He graduated from Pine Bluffs High School and later earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Casper College.
Jim enlisted in the Army on March 31, 1950 and was honorably discharged from Fort Bliss, TX on April 1, 1953. While he was enlisted, he met the love of his life, Susanne Montello in San Jose, California and they married July 21, 1951.
Jim and Sue moved to Casper, Wyoming where they raised their four children. He worked for Standard Oil Refinery for several years before he joined the Casper Police Department on August 15, 1963. He retired March 30, 1987.
During his time with the department he progressed through the ranks as a Senior Police Officer, Corporal, Sergeant, Detective, and Assistant Watch Commander. On one of his daily reports he wrote: “Guarded the president of the United States.” Gerald Ford was the president. He also was on a security detail for Lyndon Johnson.
In 1986 he received The Man in Blue Award for outstanding service to the citizens of Casper.
After he retired from the police department, Jim took a year off and toured the country on one of the many Goldwing Motorcycles he owned in his lifetime. He was a true motorcycle enthusiast. Over the course of time he visited all four geographic corners of the United States and attended numerous motorcycle rallies across the country.
He rejoined the workforce as a security guard for several entities including Teton Homes, the Dick Cheney Federal Building, and the Casper Federal Building. After he left these positions, he took retirement more seriously.
Jim was an extremely talented artist throughout his life. He made everything from animal shaped breadboards to his very own tin-can art which won numerous awards which included Best of Show at both county and state fairs. His artwork graces the homes of many friends and all of his family.
Jim was a hard worker and determined to accomplish something worthwhile every day. He was a man of honor and integrity. He had a great work ethic and walked his talk.
When he saw a person in need, he quietly helped in any way he could.
Jim is survived by special friend, Mary Martinez, children, Ruth Sisk (Doug), Rapid City, SD, Mary Rager (Jerry), Casper, WY, Deborah Osborne (Richard), Sanford, FL and James Garth Higday, Bakersfield, CA; five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, sister Emma Maxfield and brother Gilbert Higday.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at the Newcomer Funeral Home (710 East Second St.) in Casper, WY on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm followed by a military service and interment at the Oregon Trail Veteran’s Cemetery in Evansville, WY.
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