Sterling F. Higley Jr., 87, a lifelong resident of Norwich, passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at Chenango Memorial Hospital with his loved-ones by his side.
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Born on November 18, 1931, Sterling was the son of Sterling F. and Mabel (Zuber) Higley. He graduated with honors from Norwich High School with the class of 1949. As a senior, Sterling was co-captain of the varsity track team, and set new school and Section IV records in the discus throw. He continued his education with one post-graduate year at Mercersburg Academy before entering and completing a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
After college, Sterling served for two years in the United States Army during the Korean War, and was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was honorably discharged in September 1956, then returned to Norwich where he worked with Victory Markets, Inc., as a field representative in merchandising for Seabrook Farms, a frozen food processor located in Bridgeton, NJ. From 1959 - 1961, he worked as a salesman for City Beverage, Inc., in Norwich, before organizing and incorporating Valley Video, Inc., the company providing cable television service in the Norwich area. During this period, Sterling also organized and developed the cable television services of C&U Video, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of C&U Telephone Co. of Norwich. This enterprise offered expanded television choice of viewing in the communities of Oxford, New Berlin, Franklin, Chenango Bridge, and Cooperstown. He served as president of C&U Video until the early 1970s when it merged with the Continental Telephone Corp. Sterling was also a partner in the development and operation of cable systems serving several communities in central Ohio, acting as president of Ohio Video Services, Inc., until 1979. In 1966, Sterling was honored to serve a one-year term as president of the NYS Cable Television Association.
On June 22, 1957, at the Broad Street United Methodist Church, in Norwich, Sterling was united in marriage with Jane N. Stark, daughter of Laverne and Mary N. Stark. Jane passed away in 1994 after 37 years of marriage. Together they had five children.
During Sterling's lifetime, he was a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a past member of the Lost Pond Club, and a 25-year member of the Norwich Kiwanis Club. He was also a life member of BPO Elks Lodge #1222, and served six years as their trustee. Sterling devoted many hours of service to the community as director for varying terms of the Chenango County ARC, Chenango County SPCA, Norwich Community Chest, Norwich YMCA, and for over 20 years as a director of the Chenango Savings & Loan Association until its acquisition by Astoria Federal Savings. Sterling continued to serve Astoria for several more years as a member of its advisory board until it was acquired by Central Bank of Canajoharie.
Sterling was also an avid outdoors person, and throughout his life he derived great enjoyment tending to his garden and landscaping around his property. He also loved the lure of the open road and, in that pursuit, traveled throughout all 50 states and most of the Canadian provinces on multiple trips traversing the continent and visiting national parks. Sterling also enjoyed the ocean side, spending many relaxing vacations on the beaches of Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida, and South Carolina.
Sterling is survived by his children Bruce S. Higley, of Pepperell, MA, Theodore N. (Dawn) Higley, of Brentwood, NH, Megan M. (Jonathan) Phillips, of Seattle, WA, and Tracy A. Higley, of Rochester. He is also survived by grandchildren Zachary, Samuel, and Alexander Higley, of Brentwood, NH, Christopher and Mikhail Higley, of Tyngsboro, MA, and his caring and loving companion, Jessica C. Thompson, of Norwich. Sterling was predeceased in 1976 by his first-born son, Scott F. Higley, at 17 years of age, and in 2004 by his brother, Frank Z. Higley.
A memorial service for Sterling will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at the Wilson Funeral Home, where Rev. David Hanselman will officiate. Burial will immediately follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Contributions in Sterling's memory may be made to a charity of one's choice.