In Loving Memory of Thomas E. Higgins Jr.
February 2, 1932 - September 10, 2023
In the tapestry of life, some threads shine brighter, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew them. Thomas E. Higgins Jr., fondly known as Tom, was one such thread. At the age of 91, he left behind a legacy of love, laughter, and memories that will forever be cherished.
Born at home in the quaint town of Montrose, NE, Tom's early days were filled with the rustic charm of farm life after the family moved to Crawford, NE. As the middle child in a family of ten children, Tom was surrounded by the love and camaraderie of his siblings: Jack, Gerald, Helen, Carol, and Cece who came before him, and Don, Dee, Jim, and Jerome who followed. This close-knit family would be the foundation upon which Tom built his life of service, love, and laughter.
Tom's dedication to his country was evident when he served in the Korean War with the Air Force between 1951 and 1955. His time stationed in Morocco not only shaped his worldview but also instilled in him a sense of duty and discipline. Upon his return, he pursued his education at Barnes Business College, where he earned his degree in accounting. For three decades, he diligently worked in the Oil and Gas industry, ensuring precision and integrity in every task.
1959 was a hallmark year for Tom, as he married the love of his life, Denise Kinney. Their union, which lasted just shy of 58 years, was blessed until Denise's passing in September 2017. Together, they raised seven wonderful children and their families:
- MaryKay Maixner and her husband Frank, residing in Morrison, CO.
- Patti Broomhall and her husband Dale, making their home in Sandia Park, NM.
- Tom Higgins and his wife Cathy, settled in Denver, CO.
- Sheila Higgins, based in Evergreen, CO.
- Kelly Bachmeier and her husband Terry, living in Irvine, CA.
- Shannon Bielenberg and her husband Tim, residing in Rio Rancho, NM.
- Tracy Higgins and her significant other, Travis, live in Atmore, AL.
Their home was filled with faith, with Saint Vincent De Paul School nurturing their children's education and the Church of the Risen Christ in Denver being their spiritual haven.
Tom's sense of humor was legendary. As a father, he was known to pull a practical joke or two, much to the amusement (and sometimes exasperation) of his family. His entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly when, after 30 years in accounting, he founded Sound Sweepers in 1986, a venture he passionately pursued until his mid-70s. In retirement, he worked at the Church of the Risen Christ.
But perhaps, one of the most defining aspects of Tom's life was his love for running. Not only did he carry the Olympic torch twice, but he also made a mark in the BOLDER Boulder race, consistently ranking in the top 10 for his age group and often securing first place in his age category. His commitment to running was unwavering, covering 8 miles a day until age 85, and then 5 miles daily until age 88.
Tom's life was not without its challenges. He battled a diagnosis of dementia for 10 years and then faced Alzheimer's for an additional 10 years. The family firmly believes that his physical fitness from running kept these diseases at bay for nearly two decades, a testament to his resilience and the power of staying active.
A Golden Gloves Boxer in the Air Force, an avid golfer, and a passionate bowler, Tom's zest for life was unparalleled. Today, as we remember him, we celebrate a life well-lived, filled with love, laughter, and countless memories.
Tom is now reunited with his beloved wife, Denise, in the embrace of the Almighty. He leaves behind a legacy of love, cherished by his surviving siblings Jerome and his wife Pauline, Dee, his seven children, their spouses, 27 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass Details:
Date: October 2, 2023
Church of the Risen Christ
3060 S Monaco Pkwy, Denver, CO 80222
Time: 9:30 am
Service can be viewed live online here
A reception will immediately follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks that Donations in Tom's name may be made to: Walk to End Alzheimer's Association
Rest in peace, Thomas E. Higgins Jr. You will forever be in our hearts.
We little knew the day
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly.
In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you
but you didn’t go alone.
For part of us went with you
the day God called you home.
We’re left with beautiful memories.
Your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one
the chain will link again.