March 5, 1927November 15, 2021

Leroy “Chief” Finice Higgins, passed away on November 15, 2021, at the age of 94, in Abilene, Texas. He was born at home on March 5, 1927, in Osage County, Oklahoma to Eugene and Eula Martin Higgins. He was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the United States of America. Leroy grew up on the family farm near Blackburn, Oklahoma and the Arkansas River with his 13 brothers and sisters. He attended school and in 1942 graduated 8th grade from Middle Enterprise School. In 1945, Leroy was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps and served as an Aircraft Armorer until he was honorably discharged from service in 1946, then returned home to help his dad on the farm.

Around 1948, he began working for Trower Brothers Construction Company in Enid, Oklahoma and found his calling as a mechanic, where he was introduced to road construction. In 1952, Leroy came to Texas with a friend to work projects designed to support the newly constructed Interstate Highway system. His ability to solve problems, coupled with a strong work ethic allowed him to quickly establish himself as a highly sought-after professional in the booming road construction business following World War II In 1954, Leroy found himself in Stanton, Texas, working on Interstate 20 and met the love of his life, Eva Marlene Kelly. They would marry in August 1954 at the Lenorah Baptist Church in Lenorah, Texas. Leroy and Marlene were married for 67 years and were blessed with five healthy children. The family would travel across the state of Texas and live in 52 towns, as he worked to construct highway systems across Texas, working for Gulf Bitulithic, Cage Brothers and Allen Construction. The Higgins family would settle in Abilene in 1967 where Leroy later worked for Bontke Brothers Construction Co. as an Asphalt Foreman, retiring in 1999.

Leroy worked in the road construction business for over 50 years. During these years, he was well known and respected across the state of Texas by state inspectors and engineers. Texas Highway Magazine recognized Leroy for record setting feats of completing difficult road construction jobs and as one of the best asphalt foremen in the state. After retirement, he worked with his son-in-law as a mechanic at Price Diesel Service for many years.

Leroy was a loving husband, a terrific father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was quick with a joke, a tease, and a story to make you smile. He was a true and good friend to everyone he met, sharing his quick wit and sense of humor. In retirement years until his death, he enjoyed “piddling” around his acreage, mowing grass, working in his huge shop, farming and going to auctions. Every spring, Leroy planted an acre garden which always produced a bountiful crop of fresh vegetables for everyone to enjoy. Leroy was proceeded in death by his parents, Eugene and Eula Higgins; sisters-Maxine, Inez, Betty, Patty; brothers Bill, Martin, Curtis, Charles and Jack. Also, by his grandson Cory Parker Couch and granddaughter, Tracy Mae Finstad.

Leroy is survived by a large family. His loving wife, Marlene and their children, Jimmy and wife Julie Higgins, Kathy Higgins, Danny Higgins, Christie and husband Edward “Sparky” Price; Kelly and husband Shannon Couch all of Abilene. Also surviving are his sisters, Nancy Wright, Patsy Baldwin and Joann Hutson. Grandchildren are Tammy Senn, Eddie Price, Brittany Price, Caleb Price, Jordan Daberkow and AshLee Ware. Surviving great grandchildren are Teryn and Signe Senn; Spencer and Jake Price; Azaezel Price; Elizabeth, Gabriella, Gabriel and Arron Ware. Others surviving family include twenty-seven nieces and nephews that love him dearly.

Pallbearers will be Randal Kelly, Mark Cruise, Mark Nichols, Loye Eubanks, Jack Higgins, Jim Cook. Visitation services will be held on Sunday, November 21st from 2:00pm until 4:00pm at Elliott Hamil Funeral Home located at 5701 US Hwy 277. Funeral services will also be held at Elliott Hamil Funeral Home at 10:00 am on Monday morning, November 22nd with Pastor Mark Moore officiating. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. Services are under the direction of Elliott Hamil Funeral Home. In leu of flowers memorial donations can be made in Leroy’s name to The West Texas Rehabilitation Center or your favorite charity. The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to the nurses and staff of West Texas Rehab Hospice Care, Amanda Hjortshoej, Dr. Barry Moak, Dr. Nancy Daggubati, Gary and Rachel Haun with Bryant Hearing, John Beckett and adopted daughter, Linda and husband Wayne Linville.


  • Randal Kelly , Pallbearer
  • Mark Cruise, Pallbearer
  • Mark Nichols, Pallbearer
  • Loye Eubanks, Pallbearer
  • Jack Higgins, Pallbearer
  • Jim Cook, Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Sunday, November 21, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, November 22, 2021

  • Final Resting Place

    Monday, November 22, 2021



have a memory or condolence to add?

Fam Weaver

November 22, 2021

So sorry for your loss ms. Marlene. indeed Leroy was a good man. May God call his name in the Resurrection mentioned in JOB 14:14 & 15

Angie Higgins -Lippard

November 21, 2021

Always enjoyed seeing Leroy as a kid at family reunions at Curtis's house. Always loved being around grandpa Bills brothers they were always fun and ornery. Sure do miss them all. Prayers to the family.

Joe and Linda Martin

November 20, 2021

It was such fun to meet all of you several years ago. When Joe proudly shows off his walking stick, he always mentions that it's from a Chinaberry tree from his Texas cousin. We send our condolences to the entire family as you remain in our hearts and prayers.

Love you,
Joe and Linda

Evelyn Young

November 19, 2021

Sending love and hugs to your mom, you and your family.. what a beautiful picture! I see him in you! What an amazing life history your sweet daddy had! Y’all are in my heart and prayers. Evelyn