Gerald (“Jerry”) George Higgins passed away on March 28, 2024 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri with family by his side. He was 90 years old.

Jerry was born March 16, 1934 in Solomon, Kansas. He was the middle of three children of Earl (“Bunny”) K. Higgins and Ethel M. (Burt) Higgins and graduated from Solomon High in 1952. Jerry grew up in the Great Depression era during which his family persevered through difficult times by growing their own food.  Bunny worked many jobs while Ethel managed the budget, often buying groceries on credit.

Jerry liked to tell stories of life in Solomon’s small town “Norman Rockwell”-like setting. One Christmas during World War II when Jerry and older brother Robert (“Bob”) were in grade school, the extended family had gathered to celebrate in their small home with no indoor plumbing, not having much in the way of material things, but rich in spirit and faith. Suddenly, an uncle rushed in from the front of the house saying Santa Claus had delivered a present for the boys, who jumped up and ran outside to find an old but newly painted bicycle.  Thrilled by the gift, they rode off together with Bob peddling and Jerry sitting in Bob’s lap.

Jerry worked his way through college, without the aid of student loans which were not available at the time.  He had many different jobs including construction, chicken egg hatchery, farming, janitoring, bread making, Army Corp of Engineers in Nebraska, and as an electrician. He attended Kansas Wesleyan University, Fort Hays State University, and Kansas State University (twice) before graduating from KSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1959.

Jerry met the love of his life, the late Ruth M. Ramsey (Salina, Kansas) while attending Kansas Wesleyan and the two were married at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, Kansas on February 13. 1960. They were blessed with three children – Marc Stephen, Matthew Allen, and Maria Ann. The couple settled in the Kansas City area and lived in Leawood, Kansas for 52 years and have been Cure’ of Ars parishioners for more than 60 years.

Jerry enjoyed working as an engineer at Western Electric/Southwestern Bell/AT&T for 30 years in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He worked on manufacturing electrical components including transistors and then later on the development of computer microchips.  Also during this time, Jerry served six years in the Army National Guard and Reserve at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He retired from AT&T in 1989 as a Senior Engineer. In his retirement he worked five years as a seasonal Internal Revenue Service claims processor before retiring fully in 1994.

Jerry had a sharp mind, wit, and loved to laugh and share stories.  He amazed us with his ability to remember specific details in his stories as well as names and dates.  He had many hobbies over the course of his lifetime including jogging and winemaking.  He loved to read history and biographies. He often did heavy research before making any major purchase, scouring Consumer Reports.  He was able to fix just about anything and was a master with Gorilla Glue. He always had good advice to pass along.   He was a lifetime learner, mastering the internet, emails, and ordering lots of things off Amazon in his later years! He was very independent. He prepared his own tax returns up until this year and had just renewed his driver’s license a day prior to his 90th birthday. He loyally followed the Chiefs, Royals and K-State sports and loved watching or listen to the games, especially with kids or grandkids.  He returned many years to the annual Solomon alumni banquet and valued his friendships with old friends as well as coworkers. He loved nature and enjoyed hearing the birds and watching them feeding at the birdfeeder.  He loved working in the yard, taking care of his plants and flowers.

Jerry dearly loved his grandchildren, Finnian, Gabrielle, and Quinn. Jerry and Ruth spent many happy hours in their retirement years helping their children and attending the activities of the grandchildren including many sporting events and band concerts.  They had a passion for traveling with family to places such as Arizona, Bermuda, California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Texas.

Jerry is survived by children Matthew (Stacy) Higgins, Prairie Village, Kansas; Maria Higgins, Fairway, Kansas; grandchildren, Finnian, Gabrielle, and Quinn Higgins. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Bunny and Ethel Higgins, brothers Bob and Donald, wife Ruth and son Marc Stephen Higgins.

Jerry will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

A Rosary will be held at Cure’ of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Road, Leawood, Kansas, Friday at 4:00pm and a Funeral Mass will follow at 4:30 pm. The family will receive guests for reception and visitation after Mass.

The Rite of Committal and burial will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery, 2078 E Iron Ave., Salina, Kansas, Saturday 1:00pm.  The service will be love-streamed with the link available at 4:30

The family requests In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cure’ of Ars Adoration Chapel renovation project.

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