Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
February 10, 2019 5:00 p.m.
James Byron Higginbotham, known to friends and colleagues more familiarly as “Jim B”, passed away Friday, February 8, 2019 in Fernandina Beach. He was 74 years old.
A Nassau County native, Higginbotham’s lengthy obituary chronicles a life well lived with family, religious conviction, and community service at the center. He was elected to three terms as District 1 Nassau County Commissioner, serving as Chairman for two terms: (1988-1996) (2004-2008).
One of his notable public achievements was superintending the reconstruction of Fernandina Beach’s Centre Street during the street’s makeover in 1978-79. It was following that project that the City of Fernandina Beach appointed him to the position of Director of Public Works, a position he held for 25 years. He also served 8 years as the first chairman of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Board.
In 2015, Higginbotham once again entered the political arena, this time in quest of a seat on the Fernandina Beach City Commission. He was unsuccessful in this attempt. He remained active in the community, however, serving as a Director of the Amelia Park Neighborhood Association.
A memorial service to celebrate Higginbotham’s life and legacy will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church on 8th St in Fernandina Beach, FL.