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James "Jim" Edward Higgins

June 8, 1941 ~ May 2, 2022 (age 80)


James E. Higgins, Professor Emeritus of Elementary Education at Indiana State University, died on Monday, May 2, 2022.  He was born on June 8, 1941, in Shelbyville, Illinois to Thomas and Gail Higgins.  He graduated from Charleston (IL) High School in 1959 and was awarded an Illinois degree in 1963 and the MS in Education in 1964, both degrees in Elementary Education.  Jim graduated with the Doctorate in Elementary Education from Indiana University in 1970.

Jim began his teaching career in 1963 as a 6th grade teacher at Washington School in Mattoon, Illinois.  In 1964, he joined the faculty of ISU’s Laboratory School in Terre Haute.  In 1971, he “moved across the street” to teach in ISU’s Department of Elementary Education.  He received numerous citations for his teaching, including the Caleb Mills Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993.  Over the course of his career, Jim had 50 books and articles published and made more than 300 presentations at local, state, and national conferences and workshops.  He retired from ISU in 2001.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and a grandchild, Kadyn Huxford.  Among his survivors are his loving wife of 32 years, Peggy Higgins, son Michael Higgins (Debbie) and grandchildren Landon and Valerie of Avon, Indiana; daughter Jennifer Perdue (Sam) and granddaughter Lauren of Lafayette; son Mark Higgins (Sally) and grandsons Max and Sam of New Albany, Ohio; stepdaughter Jacquie Huxford (James) and granddaughters Abby and Ally of Morristown, Indiana; and stepson Brian Huxford (Jamiee) and granddaughters Zoee, Zara, and Izabella of Terre Haute.  Jim’s four siblings, Janene Adam (Bob) of Katy, Texas, JoAnn Goben (Bill) of Casey, Illinois, John Higgins (Sue) of Naperville, Illinois, and Jeff Higgins (Elaine) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana also survive.

Throughout his life, Jim was a sports enthusiast and was an active participant in sports.  He was a lifelong St. Louis Carndinals fan and annually saw numerous games, primarily in Florida Spring training and in St. Louis.  As a teenager he was a local tennis champion in Charleston and later was a member of Eastern’s varsity tennis team.  After moving to Terre Haute, he joined the Terre Haute Tennis Club and later served a term as president of the organization.  When tennis elbow became a recurring issue, Jim found his way to the golf course.  In much of his retirement, from mid-spring through early Fall, he regularly played the Rea Park golf course with “the best friends anyone could ever hope to have”.  Some of those friends were also members of the weekly poker group Jim so much enjoyed.  On most non-golfing days, Jim made his cardiologist happy by working out at the gym.

At Jim’s request, there will be no service.  DeBaun Funeral Home was entrusted with cremation.  Anyone wishing to make contributions may do so in Jim’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  



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