William Higgins

William D. Higgins

Thursday, September 24th, 2020
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Obituary

William D. Higgins Sr., 91, of Westerly, RI, husband of Eileen (Rea) Higgins, passed away peacefully at The Westerly Hospital on September 24, 2020.

He was born in Stonington, CT, to Charles E. Higgins and Olive (Campo) Higgins and graduated from Stonington High School in 1947. Despite having lived in Westerly with his beloved wife Eileen of 68 years, his heart always belonged to Stonington, and he would love to reminisce about life and times in the borough with anyone who would listen.

Mr. Higgins was a letter carrier with the US Postal Service in Westerly for 30 years, back in the day when letter carriers walked their routes. Even at 91 years of age, he could still recall the names and addresses of people who lived along the mail route that he walked for 30 years. Following his retirement in 1980, he worked part time at the Westerly Sun.

A proud veteran, he served in the 20th Signal Corps and received commendation for services rendered as a radio operator during trying circumstances maintaining continuous radio communication for L. Corps during the Korean War, and received the Korean War Medal. He was a member of the Amancio, Falcone, Gaccione VFW Post No. 8955, where he enjoyed the comradery and friendly banter with his fellow veterans during morning coffee hour. He was also a member of the Elks Club, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Westerly Seniors, and a lifetime member of the Calabrese Club.

He was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Church, where he devoted many hours of service including volunteering at Monday night Bingo in the seventies, serving on the parish council, and ushering at Sunday Mass.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, William D. Higgins Jr. (Susan Bruno), Michael J. Higgins M.D. (Susan), and Margaret H. Ritacco (Natale), five grandchildren, Kathryn Higgins, Angela Higgins, Ryan Higgins, Sean Higgins, and Natalie Ritacco, a sister Marilyn Pouliot of Pawcatuck, CT, and a former daughter-in-law Tam Higgins. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and godchildren, all of whom he loved dearly.
He was pre-deceased by two brothers, Charles E. Higgins Jr. and Eugene C. Higgins who was his twin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am on Wednesday, September 30 at Immaculate Conception Church, 111 High St., Westerly.
Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, there are no visiting hours. Burial with Full Military Honors will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the St. Vincent dePaul Society, P.O. Box, 1014, Westerly, RI, 02891. Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly is in care of the arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com
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Service Details

  • Service

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    Immaculate Conception Church
    Address
    111 High Street
    WESTERLY, RI 02891
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    *Private
    Address
    Private
    Private, --
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Please note: Committal services with Full Military Honors will be conducted privately.

Condolences

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JG

Joanna Gradilone

Posted at 10:26am
My sincere sympathy Eileen.
NJ

Nick Bottone Jr.

Posted at 03:43pm
Dear Eileen, Billy, Mike, Margaret and Family,

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the great memories of Bill Sr. and to all. Bill was a legend in that great neighborhood of ours for many years with his always calm demeanor and dry sense of humor that would get everyone absolutely rolling with laughter!! I've told Barbara about the unlimited fond memories I have of our interactions together, especially on Christmas Eve at the Higgins home when I'd come rolling in late at night to visit and Bill Sr. would unleash one of his classic one liners like, "your a little early aren't you?" In his priceless quiet way, he was the undisputed life of the party! Just so many wonderful years!! He's in Heaven now with a truly great group of people from our legendary old neighborhood.

our sincere condolences and prayers,
Nick Jr. and Barbara Bottone
J

Jamie Quatrocci

Posted at 08:17am
Dear Margaret and family-
I am very sorry and saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I will miss his witty sense of humor and we shared many laughs together. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I was able to spend with your dad and I am thinking of you and your family.

Jamie Quatrocci
L

Larry Hirsch

Posted at 12:37pm
Dear Eileen and family: so sorry for Bill’s passing. He will be sorely miss by all who knew him and especially the boys at the VFW coffee club. May he Rest In Peace. Sincerely, Larry Hirsch
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