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Tribute to Elbie J. Hickambottom, Sr.

Location: Washington, DC

TRIBUTE TO ELBIE J. HICKAMBOTTOM, SR. -- HON. ADAM B. SCHIFF (Extensions of Remarks - February 24, 2004)


Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in solemn remembrance of Elbie J. Hickambottom, Sr., who passed away on the evening of December 31, 2003.

Elbie Hickambottom began his life in Okmulgee, OK, in 1924. In 1925 his family moved to Pasadena, CA, where he grew up and attended Pasadena public schools. As a young adult he attended Pasadena City College and though his education was interrupted by his service in the military, he continued his academic pursuits at USC and completed his BA degree from the University of Omaha.

Mr. Hickambottom served in the U.S. Army during World War II and at 19 years old was one of the youngest first sergeants in Europe. He was recalled by the Army during the Korean war and commissioned as a second lieutenant. After 20 years of distinguished service, he retired in 1967 with the rank of major. During his career, he was awarded many decorations including twice receiving the Medal for Outstanding Service and three times the Army Commendation Medal. Elbie was a past commander of the Pasadena chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and a recipient of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Patriot of the Year Award.

After Elbie's military retirement, he joined the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency in 1967 where he served as director of Relocation and Property Management, managing programs that assisted displaced families and small businesses. He subsequently worked as senior vice president of Municipal Services, Inc. a private redevelopment consulting firm from which he retired in 1985.

In 1979 Mr. Hickambottom was elected to the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education, where he served until he retired from the board in 1994. A champion for excellence in education and a strong voice for improving academic achievement for all students, particularly for disadvantaged and minority students, Elbie was often the conscience of the school board. He was an active member of the California Coalition of Black School Board Members, where his tenure included holding office on the Executive Board.

A dedicated community volunteer, Elbie participated in many organizations, including the NAACP, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, Young and Healthy, the Pasadena Commission on Children and Youth, Project Day, ROTC, and various other civic groups.

Elbie is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dolores, his children, Ann Marie, Elbie Jr., Leslie and John, sisters Verdia Arnold and Wilmer Lane, niece Robin Foster, sister-in-law Agnes Brumfield, two brothers-in-law, Joseph Arceneaux and Oscar Dupre II, and many other nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved friends.

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