Dana F. Higgins Jr.
Dana F. Higgins, Jr. 1927 - 2016 ROME - My Father, Dana F. Higgins, Jr., 88, of Rome, has passed away. My Father passed on Friday, October 14, 2016, at Rome Memorial Hospital with his loving son at his bedside. He had been a resident at the Bethany Gardens since November 11, 2014. He suffered from dementia and the usual afflictions of old age. A much repeated line of his was "you are only as old as you feel". My father formerly resided on East Oak Street, with my mother and me until her passing on September 12, 1988, from October 24, 1970, until his final illness. Prior to this, he resided at 108 East Oak Street from August of 1966 until October 24, 1970, when he moved to 104. My father arrived in Rome with his wife, Jean, on March 3, 1958. He purchased the Edward P. Scheidleman Insurance Agency on North James Street from the previous owners, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, and operated the business from Ben and Bernie's Motor Court on North James Street. He then merged with Rowland, Bellinger, and Comstock Insurance Agency at 211 West Court Street in 1970, after purchasing his partnership from Mr. Edward Comstock. He resided at the Rose Garden Apartment complex from 1958 until 1966 when I was born. He worked at Rowland, Bellinger, and Comstock until his retirement on July 1, 1990, after selling the insurance agency to the Reidman Corporation of Rochester. My father was born on October 30, 1927, to Dana F. Higgins, Sr., and his wife Dorothy Thompson Higgins of Athol, Massachusetts. He had three sisters, Patricia, Diane, and Deborah. My father graduated from Athol High School in June of 1945. He knew personally 6 of the 55 people from Athol who died in the Second World War. My father majored in Political Science at Yale University in Connecticut where he met and knew William F. Buckley, Jr. He was a member of the Yale Political Union. The fact that he was admitted to Yale with an 84GPA is a measure of the level of regard to which he was held by them. Upon his graduation in 1948, my father went to work for the Phoenix Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut. It was while working at the Phoenix that my father met my mother. He married my mother on October 5, 1957, in Albany. His marriage to Jean Knodle was a blessed union of 30 years 11 months and 1 week. My father was drafted into the United States Army in October 1950 where he served with honor, loyalty, and distinction. He was a lifelong patriot who believed in and loved his country and keenly felt its pain in times of trial such as December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. My father served on active duty until October of 1952. He was posted to Camp Pickett, Virginia, Bad Toltz (near Munich) and Schwalbach (near Nuremburg) in Bavaria (in Germany). My father then served for 21 years in the Army Reserves before retiring at the rank of Major in 1973. After leaving active duty, my father was transferred by the Phoenix Insurance Company to Syracuse on March 5, 1953, and then to Albany in 1957. He resided in Albany on Lawton Terrace for 6 months before coming to Rome on March 3, 1958. My father had many interests, hobbies, and causes which he supported. He was a Mason at the North Quabbin Lodge AF & AM in Athol, Massachusetts. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, the Rome American Legion Post #24, the Oneida Rifle Club, the Greenway Verona Mills Fish and Game Club, the Rome College Foundation, he served on board of trustees at Mohawk Valley Community College from 1982-1992, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, the Humane Society of Rome, the Rome Art and Community Center, the Kiwanis Club, the Lake Delta Yacht Club, the Rome Historical Society, the Westernville Historical Society (since its formation), and the Kelberman Center. He was of the Congregational Faith and was baptized at its church in Athol, Massachusetts. He attended services at Trinity United Church of Christ. He enjoyed to canoe, hike, bird watch, nature walk, and collect coins and stamps. He was a Republican. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dana and Dorothy; step-father, Major General Kirke Brooks Lawton; his older sister, Patricia Higgins; and two cousins, Donald and Charles Higgins, all of Athol, Massachusetts. He is survived by his son, James Higgins of Rome; two sisters, Diane Anderson of York Beach, Maine, and Deborah Hergenrother of Santa Barbara, California; eight nieces and nephews, Lis, Wendy, Eric, Dana, Christine, Julia, Craig, and Candace. My father was a fine morally upright man and a brave one. I will truly miss him and the example he set. I will always love him and mom. Mr. Higgins' funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 5:30 PM at the Gulla Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc., 209 N. Washington St., Rome, (336-5700). Interment will be in Riverview Cemetery, Old Forge. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Wednesday from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the funeral home prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Jervis Public Library, 613 N. Washington St., Rome, NY 13440 or Kelberman Center, 2608 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13502. To add to Dana's online memorial or send a message of condolence, please visit gullafuneral.com .
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