Ronald Eugene Higgins, 87 years of age, of Beatrice passed away at the Beatrice Good Samaritan Center Thursday afternoon, January 24, 2019. He was born on January 31, 1931 in Beatrice to Charles and Florence (Heikes) Higgins. Ron attended rural school at Cottonwood District 105 and graduated from Beatrice High School in 1948. He served his country in the United States Air Force from January 2, 1952 until December 13, 1955 (Korean War). Ron and Marilyn Niemeyer were married on April 25, 1954 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church near DeWitt. He had farmed until 1981 when he had been employed at Beall Construction, Julifs Cabinet Shop, and at the Martin Luther Home (now known as Mosaic), retiring from there in 2007 after 26 years.
He was a former member of the Centenary United Methodist Church, Beatrice and the Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln, and had been a 60 year member of St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice where he had been on the church council (serving as secretary), usher for many years, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday Night Fellowship member for 55 years, and past member of the Lutheran Men in Mission. He had been a member of the District 105 School Board; Vice-Chairman of Midland Township ASC Committee; board member of the Farmers COOP Elevator and the Gage County Fair Board (9 years); member of the Gage County Extension Board (4 years); and past member of the 3 G's Saddle Club. He had been a 4-H member for many years showing Jersey cattle and winning a trip to National Club Congress in Chicago by placing first in the state 4-H dairy judging contest.
Ron's hobbies include woodworking, attending grandchildren and great grandchildren activities, working jigsaw puzzles and doing Word Find.
Survivors include his wife Marilyn; daughter Kathy Russell and husband Mike of Beatrice; grandchildren Phillip Russell of Hilo, Hawaii and Rachel Scott of Beatrice; great grandchildren Lilly, Caleb and Hazel Scott of Beatrice; brothers Jerry Higgins and wife Myrna of Plattsmouth and Charles Higgins of Beatrice; sisters Doris Thorpe of Lincoln and Marjorie Penner and husband Harvey of Loveland, CO; and brother in law Richard Niemeyer and wife Dorothy of Pickrell; and several nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces, and great great nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Florence Higgins; parents in law Fred and Meta Niemeyer; sister Joan Barnard and husband John; sisters in law Verneal Higgins, Vonnie Higgins and Caroline Dissmeyer and husband Donald; brothers in law Lyle Schmidt and Joe Thorpe; and nephews Scott Higgins, David Penner, Michael Brunner and Ray Stevens.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at the St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice with Reverend Leah Lawson officiating. Interment will be in the Evergreen Home Cemetery with military graveside services provided by the United States Air Force. The body will lie in state 1-5:00 p.m. Monday and 9:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice with the family greeting friends from 5-6:30 p.m., and at the church one hour preceding the service. A family prayer service will be held 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the church. A memorial has been established to the church with Larry and Carolyn Hennerberg in charge. Sign Ron's online guest book at www.ghchapel.com.
These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.