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