William Gerard Higgins
January 23, 1928 – August 8, 2020
William Gerard Higgins, formerly of Boston (Brighton), MA, Winston-Salem, NC, and Germantown, TN, passed away peacefully in St. Petersburg, FL, on Saturday, August 8, 2020. He was 92 years old. Bill was born on January 23, 1928, in Boston, MA. When he was three years old, he lost his father, Thomas. Because of the generosity of others, Bill was able to attend Boston College High School, graduating in 1946. After two years in the Army, he enrolled at Boston College in 1948 and graduated as part of the class of 1952. Bill enjoyed great success at three companies during his adult lifetime: first, right out of college with the William Carter Company, in Needham, MA; then with Hanes Knitwear in Winston-Salem, NC; and finally with Nike in Memphis, TN, before moving to St. Petersburg, FL in 2016. Along with his beloved wife Joan, Bill—or “The Big Guy,” as he was affectionately called—raised their five children in Waltham, MA; Newton, MA; Winston-Salem, NC; and eventually, Germantown, TN, where Bill was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church from 1982 through 2016. At every stop of his life’s journey, he made life-long friends who were drawn to him by his kindness, generosity, and skill as a master raconteur. His catalogue of “Higgyisms”—practical, inspirational and amusing aphorisms—is still widely shared today.
Bill is survived by his five children: Peter J. Higgins of Barnesville, GA; Sue A. Higgins of St. Petersburg, FL; Christopher A. Higgins (Barbara) of Franklin, TN; Marybeth Huggins (Art) of Asheville, NC; and Linda Collings (Chadwick) of Mandeville, LA; and ten grandchildren: Christopher, Kevin, and Laura Higgins of Franklin, TN; Katharine Haddad of Gainesville, FL, and Andrew Haddad of St. Petersburg, FL; Sean Higgins of Atlanta, GA; Molly and Gracie Huggins of Asheville, NC; and Matthew and Jack Collings of Mandeville, LA. Bill is also survived by his sister, Mary Morrisey of Sandwich, MA and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Marie Higgins; his parents, Thomas and Anna Higgins, and his sisters Dorothy Streit and Nancy Higgins.
Visitation to celebrate Bill’s life will be held on Friday, September 18 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Memphis Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, September 19, at 1:00 PM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Germantown, TN. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund supporting the children of single mothers attending Boston College High School at BCHigh.edu/give.
- Peter J. Higgins, Child
- Sue A. Higgins, Child
- Christopher A. Higgins (Barbara), Child
- Marybeth Huggins (Art), Child
- Linda Collings (Chadwick), Child
- Christopher Higgins, Grandchild
- Kevin Higgins, Grandchild
- Laura Higgins, Grandchild
- Katharine Haddad, Grandchild
- Andrew Haddad, Grandchild
- Sean Higgins, Grandchild
- Molly Huggins, Grandchild
- Gracie Huggins, Grandchild
- Matthew Collings, Grandchild
- Jack Collings, Grandchild
- Mary Morrisey, Sister
- Joan Marie Huggins, Wife (deceased)
- Thomas and Anna Higgins, Parents (deceased)
- Dorothy Streit, Sister (deceased)
- Nancy Higgins, Sister (deceased)
- He also leaves many nieces and nephews.
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Friday, September 18, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
William Gerard Higgins
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