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1927 Robert 2021

Robert J. Higgins

April 17, 1927 — November 19, 2021

Robert Johnson Higgins passed away peacefully on November 19, 2021. He was 94. Born April 17, 1927 in Waltham, Massachusetts, he was the son of the late Raymond Alexander and Dorothy Adelaide (Johnson) Higgins. He was the husband of 57 years to the late Marjorie E. Higgins. He was preceded in death by his brothers Raymond A. Higgins Jr., Ralph S. Higgins, and a sister, Guelda E. Becker. His kid sister Harriett M. Hapenny lives in Wareham. He leaves his children, John R. Higgins, and his wife Pat of Glen, New Hampshire, Jean LeBlanc, and her husband Don of Waltham, and Julie Higgins Mott, and her husband Jim of Sherborn. He will always be "GrandBob" to Benjamin Eckstein of Natick and Lisa Eckstein of Santa Clara CA, and "GreatGrandBob" to Owen and Emmett Eckstein.

Bob attended Waltham Public Schools; and recalled walking home from Thomas R. Plympton Elementary during the Hurricane of 1938, climbing over downed trees all the way up Bacon Street. He was always interested in the weather and loved a good storm. As a teen he sometimes accompanied his father on his milkman's route, their day beginning at three a.m. to walk to Chapin's Dairy on Bacon Street to load up milk bottles and make deliveries starting at four a.m. in Brookline. Lunch was always a sandwich his mother made, and a pint of heavy cream.

He grew up spending carefree summers with his family at "Bonnie Bank", a sturdy gablefront cottage his family owned on Wells Beach, Maine. Amid miles of beach and sand dunes, he went barefoot from the day after school let out until Labor Day, often playing pick-up baseball games. In later years he and Margie spent time in Maine near the shores of Sebago Lake, and for a few summers he planted and tended a crop of giant pumpkins.

The story goes he lied about his age, and without his parent's permission, took the exam for the V-5 Naval Aviation Cadet program and enlisted in the Navy near the end of WWII. It was too late to be on the front lines, but he trained and served American war operations in Memphis TN, Norman OK, Jacksonville and Miami FL, Great Lakes IL, and Bainbridge MD. Thinking back on this time, he noted that there is always something you can learn from another person, no matter their background. After the war he returned to make his home in Waltham, and in 1949 he and Margie were married at the First Parish Church, where they had attended Sunday school together. He loved to putter and was always busy fixing things. He was self-taught, determined, and made his career as an industrial engineer at BLH Electronics for 36 years. After retiring, he went on to work part time at the manufacturing company his son founded until his late eighties.

Bob was a people person, and always loved to have conversations. He had the opportunity to get to know several high school students at The Rivers School in Weston while participating in their Sages and Seekers Program honoring elders a few years ago. To his three "Seekers" he revealed his optimism and good humor, and contentedness for having lived a happy life. Among the advice he shared: "have a job that you love"; "appreciate the small things in life"; "put trust out and show people that you respect them, and most people will come through for you".

Bob's family would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to the staff and residents at Carriage House at Lee's Farm in Wayland for their dedication and friendship to Bob over the last six years. He will be missed by many.

Special thanks to Roxana Campos, Lucy Lopez, and all at Roxana's Senior Home Care for their extraordinary and loving care; and to Good Shepherd Community Care Hospice.

Burial in South Casco Maine will be private.
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