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Kathi (Day) Higgins, age 83, passed away at her residence in Covington, Texas, on October 27, 2023. Visitation will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at Marshall and Marshall Funeral Directors in Whitney, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 2, 2023 at Cedar Creek Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Blum Cemetery in Blum, Texas.
Margaret Kathleen (Kathi) Day Higgins, 83, a longtime Hill County teacher, passed away peacefully at her home at the KDH Stock Farm on Friday, October 27, 2023.
She was born to Tom (Buddy) and Beth Day at Rollins-Brook Hospital in Lampasas on November 10, 1939.
She attended UT Austin after graduation and met her husband, Doyle Higgins, at Arlington State College (now UT Arlington) during a summer session. They married several months later. Both of the Higginses finished their education at ASC. Kathi was editor-in-chief of the yearbook, The Reveille, for three years and was charter president of both the Pre-Law Club, as well as the college press club. She was sponsored by editors of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for membership in the Fort Worth Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi, national professional press fraternity.
After graduation with a B.A. degree in pre-law and journalism, Mrs. Higgins joined the Fort Worth Public Relations Division office of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. Later, she worked as a professional news reporter and photographer for several Dallas/Fort Worth area news organizations before joining Hill and Knowlton, Inc., the New York-based international public relations office in Dallas which orchestrated the grand opening of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in 1974.
After three years, Kathi returned to college for a year to get teacher certifications in English, journalism, and history. She has held teaching positions in Arlington, Whitney, Rio Vista, Itasca, and Blum.
As sponsor of the Whitney Middle School Young Historians chapter, she was honored at the state convention for having the fastest-growing chapter in the state.
While at Whitney, Mrs. Higgins was an award-winning yearbook sponsor. She and her students raised money from the sale of 8000 candy bars per year in order to build a professional color lab, and she brought in professional photographers to help teach the students to take outstanding pictures. The student photographers often took pictures for photo packages at the school banquets and proms. The Hallmark Card Company sent many copies of the Wildcat Yearbook to cities throughout the United States to show what a high school yearbook should look like.
Throughout Mrs. Higgins’ teaching career, her students qualified for UIL regional and state competition in writing and speaking events, which helped to get a number of these students recognized and winning scholarships either through UIL or other sources. One year her entire cross examination squad went to state.
She was recognized by the Whitney VFW Post as VFW Friend of the Decade in 2004. She was cited for consistently entering students from Itasca, and later from Blum, who won top places in the annual Voice of Democracy contests for more than fifteen years. One year, all four finalists were sponsored by Mrs. Higgins, who was a state finalist herself when the Whitney post nominated her for Teacher of the Year.
She was also presented with the Mirabeau Lamar Award by the Blum Masonic Lodge and was named Teacher of the Year by that organization. Mrs. Higgins was a member of the Blum Site-Based Committee and served as president of the Blum Cemetery Association. Following her retirement in 2004, Mrs. Higgins continued to proctor state-mandated tests for various school districts, including Cleburne and Blum, and she was a familiar face at area UIL tournaments where she judged writing and speaking events, most notably CX and LD debate entries. Mrs. Higgins was a member of Cedar Creek Baptist Church of Huron where she served as secretary and as a member of the Stewardship Committee. She and her son continued to operate the family farm in Blum and manage interests of Higgins Enterprises, Inc.
Mrs. Higgins was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle, in 2005.
Survivors include one daughter, Leslie O’Neil and her husband Ted of Whitney; Darrell Higgins and his fiancè Lori of Covington; five grandchildren: Ashley Higgins of Rio Vista; Brandon O’Neil and his wife Kolbie of Weatherford; Craig O’Neil and his wife Maci of Spring Branch; Reagan Brown and her husband Zachary of Covington; and Macy Kauffman and her husband Ryan of Whitney; eleven great grandchildren: Makenzie and Makenna Langston and Maddux Salcido of Rio Vista; Logan and Jaedin Jernigan, Karli Fuller, Braxon and Brinley O’Neil of Weatherford; Mabry Jo O’Neil of Spring Branch; Jasper Brown of Covington; and Harper Kauffman of Whitney; a sister-in-law Vickie Aldridge of Dallas; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Memorials may be made to; Blum Cemetery, American Cancer Society, or Paw Pals in Whitney, Texas.