Mary Louise Higgins, born Oct. 23, 1936, and passed away on Feb. 22, 2018. Mary Higgins was born in Oklahoma during the Great Depression. She was raised by her mother, grandparents, and aunts in her grandparents’ home. Although the family had little money, there was much love and she was happy. When she was 11 years old her mother, Beatrice Perkins married Robert P. Lesley, who adopted her. Her parents then had three more children, whom Mary adored.
Mary met the love of her life, Donald W. Higgins, at a ballroom dance studio in San Bernardino. She was working as an Executive Secretary at Norton Air Force Base when they met. They married on Dec. 15, 1956, and went on to have five children: Donald, Jr., April, Holly, Amber, and Kelly. They moved the family to San Luis Obispo in 1974. Mary was a very intelligent woman who ran the office end of her husband’s construction business for more than 30 years. Later on, she worked for the State of California for more than 10 years before retiring.
Among the many talents and passions Mary possessed were singing and dancing--you could always catch her singing a tune! She performed at a lively dinner theater establishment in her youth in San Bernardino. She taught tap lessons at the Academy of Dance in SLO, where her children attended, each implementing the talent she passed on to them. She was a skilled seamstress who sewed elaborate costumes for herself, her children and others. She was an accomplished cook and baker and even created intricate, delicious wedding cakes for her children. She loved to watch football, ice-skating and gymnastic competitions, and play card and board games with family and friends. She was always in attendance at all of her children’s athletic and extracurricular events and made it abundantly clear she was their number one fan!
She loved Christmas and other holidays and made them magical for her family. Her enthusiasm and zest for life was infectious. Above all else, it was clear that she loved being a mother and a wife. Many witnessed what fantastic dancers, Don and Mary were and the true love between them that was evident on their faces as they danced in the kitchen, living room, weddings, etc. She and Don were married for 61 years until Don’s passing in December of 2016.
Mary is survived by her children, grand, and great-grandchildren. She will always be remembered for what a wonderful, loyal, giving, fun and loving person she was, and how enriched the lives were of those she loved and cared for. She will be missed more than words can say.