Cozad Resident: Donna Jean Higbee, 83 (1929-2013)

Donna Jean Higbee, 83 of Cozad, Nebraska, died July 10th, 2013, at Hilltop Estates in Gothenburg, Nebraska.

Donna was born November 22nd, 1929, at Cozad to Jens and Grova (Whitehead) Smidt. She graduated from Cozad High School.

On January 17th, 1947, Donna married Charles “Donald” Higbee at Norton, Kansas. The couple made their home in numerous places including Gothenburg, Omaha, Nebraska, Lexington, Nebraska, Denver, Colorado and Los Angeles, California, before returning to Cozad in 1992, where they lived the rest of their married lives.

While in California, Donna enjoyed working at Knott’s Berry Farm, where she spent early mornings in solitude, unloading and distributing different products throughout the various shops. Despite spending nearly 30 years of her life in Colorado and California, Donna always looked at Nebraska as home and couldn’t wait to return to Cozad. Upon their return, she visited and cared for her elderly mother every day until her eventual passing in 1998.

Donna was not the type of person that sought attention, rather, she was often found ‘behind the scenes’ and much preferred it that way. She was a loving wife, mother, grandma and daughter. Donna was also an avid reader.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband in 2000; daughter, Melody in 2007 and her parents.

Survivors include her two sons, Don A. (Cindy) of Omaha and James (Kelli) of Buena Park, California; son-in-law, Michael Yamamura of Los Gatos, California and seven grandchildren, Gary (Jennifer) Jason and Jonathan Higbee, Shanda (Joel) Kinkade and Trevor (Tina) Hahn and Niki and Amy Yamamura; one great-grandchild, Sunshine Higbee and many other relatives and friends

Graveside services will be held on Monday, July 15th, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Cozad Cemetery with Pastor Mike Parsh officiating.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad.

Memorials are suggested to the American Red Cross or the Dawson County Relay For Life in Donna’s memory.

Condolences may be shared at

Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad is in charge of arrangements.


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