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Doris Irene (McGinty) Higgins

February 11, 1924 ~ December 23, 2017 (age 93)

Doris Irene (McGinty) Higgins, a resident of Wilbraham, MA, died Saturday, December 23, 2017. Born February 11, 1924, in Central Falls, RI, Doris met George Bernard Higgins after World War II and the couple married in September 1948. Doris, predeceased by her husband, is remembered as the beloved mother and grandmother by her son George Higgins of Hyde Park, NY, grandson, Malachi Higgins, of New York City, son William Higgins of Springfield, MA, daughter Kerry Higgins, spouse, Jim Koenig, and granddaughters Beth and Sarah Koenig of Yardley, PA, son Jon Higgins and spouse, Lorrie, and grandson and granddaughter, Spencer and Keelan Higgins of Southwick, MA. Doris is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Doris achieved her Bachelor’s of Education degree in 1946 from Rhode Island College of Education and also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Doris began teaching art in Central Falls, and then stopped to raise her family. Inspired by JFK’s “Ask Not” speech, Doris returned to Rhode Island College to earn her Master’s of Education and resumed a teaching career that spanned 35 years as a first grade teacher, first in Johnston, RI and then in East Longmeadow, MA. In Johnston, she was instrumental in implementing the Head Start program. In East Longmeadow she influenced the development of the first grade reading program and in 2007, was inducted into the East Longmeadow Educators Hall of Fame. Doris is listed prominently in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Doris’s greatest passion was spending time with her family, especially enjoying her five grandchildren. Upon her retirement, she continued her lifelong quest for knowledge, studying and traveling extensively each year with Elder Hostel Programs across North America. She was an avid painter, gardener, member of the Wilbraham Garden Club, and a loyal fan of the Boston Red Sox. Doris was active in the Rosary and Altar Society of St. Augustine Parish in Providence, RI in the 1960s, and a parishioner of St. Cecilia’s Church in Wilbraham, MA. A private memorial service will be held in late January. Memorial contributions in Doris’s name may be made to: HCS Head Start, 30 Madison Avenue, Springfield, Massachusetts 01105. Wilbraham Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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