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Gerald Irwin Higdon, the ray of sunshine born on a rainy Los Angeles day, March 17, 1979, the youngest of five children, everybody's favorite little brother. He attended St. Genevieve grade school and Grant High school in the San Fernando Valley, California. During high school, Gerald demonstrated a natural talent for languages, especially German. On his 18th birthday, he, like his father and grandfather before him, joined the US Army. He was admitted to the 82nd Airborne, Charlie Company. His gift for languages had him train at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and was followed by Intelligence training at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. He received his wings after completing jump school at Ft. Benning.
Gerald served honorably for 5 years and one additional year due to September 11. He served 2 tours in Bosnia, 1 in Kosovo, and 1 in Afghanistan where he narrowly escaped an improvised explosive device on his 24th birthday. With his service completed honorably in 2003, Sgt. Higdon moved to Columbus OH to be near his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.
At a karaoke bar with a group of friends in Columbus, Gerald met the love of his life Jessica. After suffering the effects of service overseas, sunshine finally returned to Gerald's life with Jessica and her two children, Sebastian and Clara. Encouraged by his loving wife, he grew his career through education, receiving a Bachelors in International Studies from Ohio State University and a masters in Public Administration from Franklin University. Jessica added boundless pride and joy to Gerald's life when Lewis and Sylvia were welcomed to their family. Because of Jessica, Gerald accomplished his greatest life's work: that of husband and father. Gerald was happiest when providing for his family, taking them on adventures, and encouraging the kids to take on new challenges. He loved hiking, paintballing, grilling, and (most of all) reading. He had recently begun learning to play the bass, and he was a natural. He loved all kinds of music, and often made up his own songs for the kids.
Gerald was presented with his own challenge in August 2018 when he was diagnosed with stage IV malignant melanoma. Characteristically, Gerald faced his fight with the confidence and bravery one would expect of our finest. His wife, children, and family rallied around to support and encourage him through his ups and downs. On Monday, October 29, 2018 Gerald lost his final battle with Jessica and his mother at his side. He leaves behind his wife, Jessica; children Lewis Irwin and Sylvia June, as well as beloved step-children, Sebastian and Clara; his father Kirt, mother Clairene, and siblings Claudette, Charles, Danielle and Melanie, as well as Aunts, Uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The Families of Gerald and Jessica are profoundly grateful to the following for their support during this time:
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jessica Higdon to put towards an education fund for their children.