Joseph Francis Higgins died peacefully in his sleep, January 12, 2020. Born September 4, 1935, to Irish immigrants, he was the 6th of 8 children. Joseph was very proud of his Irish heritage as well as being a BOI. The last of the $5 babies in his family, he was born at home to Mary Ann McCann and Patrick Joseph Higgins.
Joseph always led a most interesting life. In his younger years, he would test the patience of the nuns and priests who tried to rein him in, but they managed to teach him very well. Always an Honor Student, he was blessed with mathematical skills few others possessed. He was always creative, from sitting on the porch of his family home singing his heart out, never realizing the sounds he produced echoed throughout the neighborhood, to one day “borrowing” a horse and bringing it home. He called this his rustling phase. He was also known for his ability as a Master Story Teller. These entertaining stories were all the better because most were true.
Joseph was a 1953 graduate of Kirwin High School. There he continued his success in learning, earning recognition in every subject. His high school honors include Sports Editor of the Kirwinite, Class Treasurer, President of CYO, Bausch and Lomb Outstanding work in Science, Honor Student, Honor torch, perfect attendance, physics award, trigonometry award, and Gold Medal for four years’ outstanding achievement in Science.
In the Fall of 1953, Joe enrolled in the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. This had been his dream from very early in life. He excelled in all areas of college life, academics, sports supporter, creative fun, and there he made lifelong friends. Joseph graduated from Notre Dame in 1957, and it remained important to him and in his heart his entire life.
Joseph’s career for most of his life was a Stockbroker. He worked for such prestigious firms such as Rotan Mosle, Merrill Lynch, A.G. Edwards, and Wells Fargo. He was valued not only for his knowledge of the stock market, and the rules by which all companies were bound, but also for his honesty and desire to do the best for his clients.
During his life, Joe served on the boards of various Civic organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the Children’s Center, the Chamber of Commerce, and The Railroad Museum. His social life, shared with his wife, Leta, included The Tandem Club, the Family Dance, the Doubles Club, the Krewe of Momus, the TBAR Club, and the Galveston Artillery Club. In those organizations, Joe usually served on the boards as well. In the Galveston Artillery Club, he served not only on the board, but also as President.
Joseph enjoyed his world famous hobbies: reading, Notre Dame football, his family, the Monday Lunch Bunch, and telling Leta what to do.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Edward (Billie), and John Stephen (LuVerne); his sister, Mary Christine and Joe Centenio.
His remaining siblings are, Erin Centenio, Patricia Higgins, Eileen McDonough (Micky) and Sheila Hawkins. In addition he is survived by a great number of nieces and nephews, greats and grand greats.
Joe is survived by his wife, Leta Middleton Higgins; his children, Christopher Joseph Higgins, Amy Wright Higgins, and Mary Kathleen Preuss and her children, Libbie and Julianna. He also leaves behind the Premirelli Family, Walter and Danica, and their children, Bailey, Aidan, and Mia.
The family would like to thank all who supported them during Joe’s illness especially Dr. Rafael Samper-Ternent, the nurses of the 11th floor at Jennie Sealy, the ladies of Concord on Broadway, the friends from Absolute Kheir, Fairmont Hospice, and Yanci Herrera.
Funeral Services for Joseph Francis Higgins are scheduled for 4:00 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2020, at Trinity Episcopal Church, Galveston.
If you wish to honor his memory in any way, please consider Rosenberg Library, Galveston, the University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or the charity of your choice.