Thelma Estella Higgins , age 100, of Knox City, MO, passed away November 15, 2014, in Knox County Nursing Home in Edina, MO. She was born October 17, 1914, in Afton, OK, the daughter of Mack and Alta Orwig Williams. She was united in marriage to Clair Evans Higgins on September 16, 1935, in Princeton, IL, and he preceded her in death on November 20, 1987.
Thelma was also preceded in death by her parents and infant twin siblings, her half-brother, John E. Williams, and half-sister, Lois Horaney.
Surviving are her son, Dr. Ronald Higgins & his wife, Vickie of Red Lick, Texas. Other survivors include two grandchildren, Grant and Hollye along with four great-grandchildren; a half-brother, Robert Clair Williams and his wife Maxine of Mendota, IL; and sister-in-law, Doris Stremmel and her husband, Norman of Galesburg, IL.
On January 17, 1926, Thelma was baptized at First Baptist Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. Many years earlier, at three years of age, Thelma’s life changed beyond words. Her mother, Alta, died giving birth to twin siblings who also passed away. Because her father, Mack Williams, was serving in the Army and having lost her mother, Thelma was sent to live with extended family in Indiana.
Years later, when Thelma’s father returned from fighting during WW I, she moved to Galesburg, IL to be reunited with her father. During those years, Thelma was an Assistant Superintendent at an orphanage in Galesburg, IL.
During that same time period, she met Clair Higgins. After they were married in 1935, they moved to Knoxville, IL to begin their future together. In 1952, they purchased their first home, a farm south of Knox City. Thelma loved being a farmer’s wife. She was a deeply devoted Christian, wife and mother who always enjoyed cooking and feeding her family & friends, especially the farm workers.
Thelma enjoyed being a 4-H leader and was a big supporter of school activities, especially when her son, Ron was participating in the event. She & Clair both loved serving and being active members of the Knox City United Methodist Church.
In addition to helping Clair work their farm, Thelma was devoted to her job as Board Secretary at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL. After her retirement in 1977, she and Clair took time to travel. In later years, she often would reminisce about the fun that had together.
Thelma loved her family & friends and was truly thankful for each day. Whether it was time spent reading a book (she could read an entire book in a day), baking for the holidays, walking with her friends, handing out homemade Halloween caramel corn to trick-or-treaters, or driving her decorated golf cart in the Knox City 4th of July parade, she shared her joy of life with everyone she knew. May each of us remember that we are blessed with one life, so let Thelma’s life serve to remind us to be thankful and enjoy each day.
Funeral services will be held 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in the Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Edina, MO. Reverend Nancy Douglas will officiate the services. Graveside services will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 20, 2014 in the Oak Lawn Memorial Park in Galesburg, IL.
Visitation will be from 2:30 p.m. until time of service at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Edina, MO.
Memorials may be made to Knox City United Methodist Church or Knox City Fire Department. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1, Edina, MO 63537.