From the Charleston Gazette-Mail is this:

Joseph Higginbotham, 62, of St. Albans, died Friday, June 2, 2017. If you are a family member or know the whereabouts of any family member of Mr. Higginbotham, please contact Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, St. Albans (304) 727-4325.

Joe was a friend for many years.

We had so much in common; we had very little in common.

At one time we shared a common faith.
And he taught me.
He taught me about theology.
About church history.
About caring for other people.
He was a great mentor, teacher, friend.

Things changed.
I don’t remember how or why.
We were all young and when you’re young,
life is constantly changing.
He moved away.

After many years, he became
whatever happened to?
I found him living in Lexington.
He had married.
He had divorced.
He had changed.

Our views of faith had diverged.
He no longer believed
as I believed.

Nonetheless, our friendship persevered.
I was writing a novel.
So was he.
And he taught me.
He taught me about story structure.
About voice.
About having something to say.

He moved back to St. Albans.
I was involved in community development.
He had been involved in Lexington.
And he taught me.
He taught me about the dynamics of community growth.
About seeing things from a different perspective.
About looking beneath the surface.

He was always doing that.
He had a great analytical mind.
He could provide so much insight.
He could be funny.
He could be maddening.
But he would always be your friend.

In his last years, we had diverged too far.
Conversations became more stilted.
So we just quit trying.
Maybe we shouldn’t have.
He deserves more than an obituary
that says nothing.

While we wait,
I’ll tell you about
Joseph Higginbotham.