Earl Barnes Higley was born January 18, 1932, in the Henneberger Hospital, Atwood, KS, 50 yards from where he entered into peaceful rest in his home on February 19, 2023 at the age of 91 years, 1 month and 1 day.
Earl was born to Ray Morgan and Beverly Barnes Higley. He had three sisters, Lynn, who died in infancy, Diane and Janice.
He attended elementary in the country schoolhouse #10, south of Atwood. His classmates, who were lifelong buddies, included Rodney McFee, Ercell Bishop and John McCain. They all went to town and graduated in the Class of 1950, from Atwood Community High School. Earl and Rod went on to attend Kansas State University. However, the farm called to Earl and he returned to Rawlins County to ranch and farm with his dad, after one year in Manhattan.
In the fall of 1950, Earl was diagnosed with the dreaded polio. God was good to him and there were no apparent disabilities from this disease.
Earl and Gleneva Argabright were married on January 26, 1952, in the First Christian Church, in Atwood. Both of them had grown up in this church, accepted Jesus Christ, and were Baptized as young teenagers. This union was blessed with four children, Stanley Dean, Lyn, Ray Russell and Kenneth Earl.
Hard work in the wheat and alfalfa fields and raising cattle; mostly Herefords, were Earl’s passions. He played as hard as he worked, whether it was hunting coyotes, coons, pheasants, geese or deer, or casting a lure into the waters of many lakes in Kansas and Nebraska. His favorite place was to play a trout in the lakes at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Earl’s parents purchased a cabin in Red Feather right after World War II, along with Otho Reeves and Russ Brown. In the early 1950’s, Ray and Beverly built a cabin on Hiawatha Lake and eventually purchased the cabins on either side of them, thus producing what some people called “The Higley Commune.” Earl and Gleneva bought another cabin on Ramona Lake in 2012 because their family had grown to huge proportions.
Earl played football, basketball and ran track in High School. When the current gymnasium was added to the school in 1950, Earl was a senior and got to play in the first game there. This was on the floor which was replaced in 2020.
Participating in sports didn’t stop as a youth, Earl went from American Legion baseball to Atwood Town Team and Rascal Creek Wildcats. His love of baseball continued through the years. He also carried the down marker for over 35 years on the chain gang with Charlie Bliss and Norval Phelps for Atwood High School football games.
Community and Church were important to Earl. He was and Elder in the Christian Church and a member of the Atwood Masonic Lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows in Atwood and Colby, and Rawlins County Sportsman Association. He was also a past President of the Atwood Alumni Association. Earl went from a youth member of Chardon 4-H to being on of the leaders when his own kids belonged.
Those who are waiting to see Earl again include his wife of 71 years, Gleneva; his four kids; 14 grandchildren; 43 great grandchildren; sisters, Diane Senecal and family and Janice Haneborg and family; special cousin Jeannine Wolfe and her family; along with many cherished friends..
A visitation will take place from 6-8:00 p.m. Friday, February 25, 2023, at Baalmann Mortuary, Atwood. Funeral Service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the First Christian Church, Atwood, with burial in Fairview Cemetery, Atwood. Memorials may be made to the church, Rawlins Co. Alumni Association, or the Rawlins Co. Sports Association and sent in care of Baalmann Mortuary, PO Box 391, Colby, KS 67701. For information or condolences visit www.baalmannmortuary.com