Mary Elizabeth Higginbotham

Mary Elizabeth Barzak Higginbotham
November 9, 1955 – April 20, 2020

Mary Elizabeth Barzak Higginbotham died on April 20, 2020, after a short battle with cancer. Her two sons and the love of family and friends surrounded her.

Mary was born in Bryan, Texas on November 9, 1955. She graduated from Bryan High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Her career was spent as a chemist for the state of Texas, and she retired in December 2018.

Mary is survived by her identical twin sons and their spouses: Adam Higginbotham and Stephanie Hughes of Austin, and Robert Higginbotham and Kate Kuhlmann of Austin; her mother, Rose Ann Barzak of Bryan; her two brothers, Wil Barzak of Bryan and Paul Barzak of Bryan; her sister, Catherine Barzak of Bryan; her granddaughter on-the-way, Madelyn Rose Higginbotham of Austin; and numerous other family and friends. Her father, Robert William Barzak, precedes her in death.

Mom had a special place in her heart for animals, had extraordinary artistic talent, loved muscle cars and watching Johnny Football highlights. She was a voracious reader her entire life, and had a pure passion for music—some of her favorites were Joe Bonamassa, the Rolling Stones, Vivaldi, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. She loved nothing more than to relax in front of the fireplace, curled up with a book on a cold, drizzly night.

A burial service will be held for close family at Rest Ever Memorial Park Cemetery; a celebration of life will be planned for a future date. Funeral arrangements are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers, Bryan-College Station. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at

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  1. God rest your soul, Mary. My condolences to all your friends and family. She was a good friend through high school and life. You will be greatly missed.

  2. Mary was a good friend and such a sweet person. She gave me such an amazing gift 0f allowing me to provide child care for her precious twin boys. My heart goes out to Robert and Adam at this sad time and to her whole family. I pray that she is in the presence of God happy and free! RIP my friend. Love to all

  3. I’m so sad…sorry for your loss of Mary…hadn’t seen her in years, but loved it when I did! I saw Katherine & Paul through the years…Many fun memories with Mary. Prayers for all❤️❤️

  4. I haven’t seen Mary in many years but my memories of her are sweet. Prayers for her family. ❤️

  5. I was saddened to hear about the loss of Mary. When I first started working for TDA about 2 years ago she was one of the first people to say hello and was so friendly towards me. I never forgot her kindness.

    May the lord fill your heart with the precious memories and the times spent together.

    Perry Foskey
    Texas Dept of Agriculture

  6. The Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Lab offers their condolences to the family. Mary was a great chemist here and has always been remembered with an analytical instrument in her name since the day she retired. She has been missed and will always be remembered by us at the Lab.

  7. I’m sorry to hear this news of Mary’s passing. Knowing all the family before the her 2 sons. She always had a smile on her face and in her voice. I know she will be truly missed by all. Sending prayers specially for Robert and Adam and the rest of the family. May God’s peace be with you all.

  8. Dear Barzak cousins,
    I was very sorry to hear about Mary. Wishing you strength, courage, and peace at this sad time.
    With sympathy,

  9. Mary was the first Chemist I met during my job interview for The State. She greeted me with a warm smile and welcomed me for a tour. After a successful interview, Mary trained me for the first month. When ever I had a question she was always ready with answers. Naturally I got to know her sons and dog over the time as she always had pictures mounted to any flat surface of her instrument. That MSD that will always be referred to as “Mary’s.”

    Thank you Mary. Rest your soul.

  10. We were saddened to learn that Mary has passed away. It was our pleasure to work with her for many years while she was at Texas A&M University. We will always remember Mary with her beautiful smile and pleasant personality. We were fortunate that we were able to spend time with such a great person.

  11. Wow, where do I start…I do not remember a time in my life not knowing Mary and loving her. Mary was beautiful, sweet, smart, funny, always happy and always made you laugh. She always had something positive to say, no matter the situation. The Barzaks lived two doors from me growing up. I spent many a day at their house. In fact, most of my childhood memories were spent at their house. Mary’s boys played with my son, Thomas growing up. There were always muscle cars in the driveway. We were not allowed to lean on them. We might ruin their shine…lol … Mary and Catherine would help Paul and Will shine them up. They were perfect…We used to climb Mr Barzak’s tree, and Mary and Catherine could skate board and skip rope like I never could. I would hit that little crack in the sidewalk and it would throw me off. Mrs. Barzak had her purple periwinkle flowers blooming in the front flower bed. Mary loved Liza. Liza was the beloved dog. Liza went everywhere we went in the yard. We had the Leave it to Beaver life. When you knocked on the front door Mrs Barzak would come to the door with a smile on her face. She would say, Mary and Catherine are doing the dishes, with a smile, come on in. Mr. Barzak would sit in his rocker recliner reading the paper with a pipe in his mouth. Hello, Patricia, he would say, as he lowered the paper to give you a welcoming nod. Everyone was welcome at the Barzak house. There was never a cuss or cross word. I have so many wonderful memories of Mary. To Mary’s boys, I remember you throwing your football in the yard with my son Thomas. I am so proud of who you have become. You two are amazing people. To Will, Paul, Catherine and Mrs Barzak, we love you so…. and I feel your pain. I am so happy for the memories. I love you all. Trish Crawford and Thomas Sims

  12. I am so very sad to hear of Mary leaving this earth. Yet, another classmate I wish I could have enjoyed spending more time with… always dear, always kind…..Mary, you will never be forgotten!

  13. Rest in Peace Mary. Working with Mary at Texas A&M University was a honor. Always smiling, always up lifting. You will truly be missed. May God wrap his arms around her family.

  14. I’m so saddened to hear of Mary’s passing. I worked with her for 17 years. She always greeted anyone new and made them feel at home. She loved her boys and their wives with her whole heart. Pictures of them covered her instrument, which is still called Mary’s. She always had on different earrings and watches. She read during her breaks. I will always remember the day we fried Spam at work. I will miss her.
    May God wrap you in love and comfort during this time.

  15. Adam, Robert, Catherine and extended family….sorry to hear the news about Mary. We will be thinking of you.

  16. Paul
    Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    Jeannie Englemann

  17. I was so saddened to learn of Mary’s passing. As I fondly remember her as a Bryan High classmate, I hope her family, friends, and colleagues are comforted by their memories of Mary and by the prayers of those around them. God bless Mary and those she loved and who loved her.

  18. Mary was a beautiful sweet person. This was a shock to me. She came to work for us in the summers when she was about 15. I pray for God to give you much comfort for the loss of your daughter, mother, sister & friend. Love to all, Brenda Smith

  19. We were very sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. Please know that the entire family is in our prayers.

  20. I can not begin to express my sadness for the loss of your daughter, sister, mother and friend. Mary always lit up the room with her big smile. She will be greatly missed.
    “Blessed are the pure of heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

  21. Guys, it is such a shock and so sad about Mary. Sending condolences and prayers. There are so many memories of us growing up when we spent time at Grandpa’s. Mary came and visited us during the summer when we were young. We always went horseback riding and I remember her love of animals. She will be missed.

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about your beautiful sister (Catherine) and mother (boys). I know she will be greatly missed. My ❤️ and prayers to you all in this difficult time.

  23. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Mary’s passing. We worked together at Texas A&M many years ago. She was such a beautiful person, inside and out, with a smile to match her vibrant personality! I am so glad to have had the opportunity to know her.

    Blessings, peace, and comfort to your family.

  24. Dear Adam and Robert,
    Mr Davison and I want to reach out to you and let you know how very sorry we are for you. Your Mom was very special and we loved it when we would see her around town. She was always so proud of her boys! May you know the peace that only Jesus Christ gives.
    God bless you and your families!
    Karen and Richard Davison

  25. So sorry for your loss! I worked with your mother for years and she was just the sweetest person! I feel as if I know you two because she spoke so often of you both! You two where her pride, joy and love of life!

  26. We are so sorry for your loss. May the warmth and comfort of lovely memories someday take the place of the sadness you feel now.

    Carol and Philip Scanio

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