Charles E. Higgins, of Hudson, FL died at his home on August 24th after a lengthy illness. He was born in Jamestown, NY on July 9, 1927, the son of Harold H. Higgins and Blanche McKinney Higgins. He was a resident of the YoungsvillePittsfield area for most of his life, moving to Florida in 1999. Chuck was an artisan bricklayer/stonemason who learned the trade from the best, the late Roger Luvison, formerly of Youngsville, PA. After working with him for many years, he and his cousin, Jack Wood, were independent contractors, noted for their residential fireplaces, beautiful patios, and ornamental brickwork. Chuck was a proud craftsman, and in addition to his work on many churches, schools, and banks in Northwestern Pennsylvania, he was best known for the beautiful stone work at Peak n’ Peak Resort in Clymer, NY. Prior to his retirement, Chuck was active in his church, St. Francis of Assisi, Youngsville, PA., serving several terms on the Vestry and coordinati???ng the annual Ash Wednesday Pancake Supper; and he was a long term member of the Youngsville Recreation Commission.
As a young man he was an accomplished trumpeter and served as the unseen bugler for “Taps” at the burials of Youngsville area soldiers lost in the Battle of the Bulge. He attended Perkiomen Preparatory School in Pennsburg, PA where he lettered in basketball and track. Unsettled by the loss of his older sister’s friends in the war, he secured his father’s permission to join the Navy just after his 17th birthday. He served with honor on the USS Independence in WWII Pacific Theater, and returned to graduate from Youngsville High School with the Class of 1947.
He was preceded in death by his parents, fatherinlaw Howard Becker, brotherinlaw Robert Gentz; sister, Beth Gentz; and motherinlaw June Becker. He is survived by his wife, Judith Becker Higgins, Hudson, FL., son, Charles (Chad) and wife Cynthia, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.; daughter, Kathleen (Kate) Smith and husband, William, Lutz, FL.; grandsons, Colin Patrick and Kyle Matthew Smith, Lutz, FL.; brotherinlaw, George Becker (Sherri), Newcastle, NH; sisterinlaw, Lynn Keiser (Robert), Edwards, CO; niece, Joan (Jody) Hanley and husband, William, Bluffton, SC; nephews, Thomas Gentz, Youngsville, PA, Andrew Keiser (Krista), Beaver Creek, CO; Zachery Becker (Melissa), Phoenix, AZ; Brian Keiser (Rebekah), Kona, HI; Bradley Becker (Kristin), Chicago, IL; great nieces, Caitlin Higgins Hanley, Clemson, SC; Elizabeth June Keiser, Beaver Creek, CO; Hannah Riley Becker, Phoenix, AZ and Sophia Lynn Keiser, Kona, HI; great nephews, Drew Robert Keiser and Joshua Dwight Keiser, Beaver Creek, CO; and Calvin Lee Keiser, Kona, HI.
A private service will be conducted at Prevatt Funeral Home in Hudson, FL by Steve Simpson, after which Chuck will be cremated. Burial with full military honors will be held at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL with the Rev. Ron Kuykendall of St. Andrews Anglican Church in Gainesville, FL conducting the Rites of Burial. Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors of Jacksonville, FL or a charity of choice.Visit www.prevatt.funeralhome.com.