John Earl Higgins, 88, died Monday, June 8, 2015. After a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, John passed away peacefully at Transitions LifeCare. He was surrounded by his loving family and a harpist playing music at his time of death.
He was born on April 24, 1927 to Helen Dughi Higgins and John Leland Higgins. John graduated from Cary High in May 1944 and attended State College June 1944 –June 1945 and September 1946 – August 1950 (Mechanical Engineering). He served in the US Navy from August 1, 1945 – August 24, 1946, rank: Yeoman Third Class V6 USNR SV. John retired in January 1981 after 30 years of service with North Carolina State University as Assistant Director – Physical Plant General Services.
John married Susanne (Susie) Feltner at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh on Nov 17, 1951. John was devoted to his beloved wife and if you saw one of them you usually saw the other as they were always together. They loved to attend theatrical plays and very much loved to travel including taking cruises. John and Susie also spent many happy days at their beach house in Cape Carteret.
John was very active in Saint Michael’s Church in Cary where he served as an Usher and on many committees including the Pastoral Council, Deanery Council and Diocesan Council under Bishop Waters. John also served on the building committee for the present Saint Michael’s Church.
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John was an active airplane modeler, who grew up flying free flight and U-control models. He and his flying partner Jimmie Brown represented North Carolina in the International Model Plane Contest in Detroit in July of 1948. John placed in the top speed outcomes in the nation in the U-control category at that contest. John continued to build many planes over the years – at one time hosting a basement with 25+ planes. He was an excellent builder and his planes were true works of art. John could build or fix anything, except as he was fond of saying “a broken heart or the break of day”.
He is survived by wife, Susanne (Susie) Feltner Higgins; children, Helen Robinett (Robin) Vick and husband, Ron, of Columbia, Susan Lynette Harmon and husband, Barry, of Raleigh, John Earl Higgins Jr. and wife, Penny, of Clayton, and Cheryl Annette Alexander of Cary; grandchildren, Matthew Vick and wife, Megan, Justin Harmon and wife, Stephanie, Andrew Harmon and wife, Morgan, Cara Harmon, Anna Harmon, Taylor Higgins, and Eric Alexander; and siblings, Anthony Dughi Higgins and wife, Norma, of Charlotte and Emily Carolyn Higgins of Cary.
John was very proud of his children and grandchildren and loved spending time with them, telling stories of his many exploits while growing up in the town of Cary.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, James Lee Higgins and infant son, John Charles Higgins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 804 High House Road, Cary, NC 27513. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27601.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary.
Flowers are appreciated, but memorial contributions to Saint Michael's Catholic Church - Green Hope Station are preferred.
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