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Gail Edward Higgins

HEITMAN, HIGGINS, MARTINEZ, PFLASTER, PISCHEL, TRASK

Posted By: Pat Hochstetler (email)
Date: 5/21/2006 at 13:04:44

Earlham Library Obituary Collection
Earlham, Iowa
August 1998

Gail Edward Higgins, 77, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, died of cancer Aug. 23, 1998.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 29, at Zion Lutheran Church in Dexter with the Rev. Linden Wendzel officiating. Burial was at Dexter Cemetery, with military graveside services provided by American Legion Post 158 of Earlham.

Gail Higgins was born Oct. 15, 1920, near Council Bluffs to Edward A. and Clara E. (Pflaster) Higgins. He attended schools in Council Bluffs and entered the service October 1942, serving for three years. Fourteen months were spent in the European American Theater of Operations. He participated in five major campaigns: Invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland and Central Europe, for which he was awarded five Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and a Meritorious Unit Emblem. In January 1946 he married Phyllis Ann Heitman. In 1947, they moved to a farm northwest of Earlham, where they lived until their retirement in 1979. Gail was a 4-H leader for many years and a member of the Madison County Hereford Association, Iowa Hereford Association, American Hereford Association and the Zion Lutheran Church in Dexter. He was an Earlham School Board member and belonged to VFW Post 8142 of Winterset and American Legion Post 158 of Earlham.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister and one son.

He is survived by his wife; one son, Philip Gail (wife Peggy Lee) of Coeur d'Alene; two grandchildren; one stepgrandchild; two great-grandchildren; nephew, Robert H. Pischel (wife Jo) of West Point, Neb.; and many nieces and nephews.
________________________

Kuhn Funeral Homes
Dexter, Iowa

Gail Edward Higgins, son of Clara E. (Pflaster) and Edward A. Higgins, was born October 15, 1920 near Council Bluffs, Iowa. He died of cancer on August 23, 1998 in Coeur dí Alene, Idaho where he and his wife, Phyllis, had recently moved.

Gail attended schools in Council Bluffs and entered the service of his country in October of 1942, where he proudly served for 3 years, 14 months of those in the European American Theater of Operations. He was a member of a specially trained secret unitóthe 23rd Headquarters, Special Troops. He participated in 5 major campaigns: Invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, and Central Europe for which he was awarded 5 bronze stars, a silver star, and a meritorious unit emblem. He returned home in October 1945.

In January 1946 he was married to Phyllis Ann Heitman. Two sons were born to this union, Philip Gail in 1946 and Daniel Henry in 1948.

Gail was baptized at St. Paulís Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs on June 2, 1946 and has been a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Dexter, Iowa for many years.

In the spring of 1947 they moved to their farm NW of Earlham where they lived until their retirement in 1979. Gail loved farming and raising registered Hereford cattle.

He was a 4-H leader for many years and a member of the Madison County Hereford Association, Iowa Hereford Association and American Hereford Association. He was an Earlham school board member and belonged to the VFW Post 8142 of Winterset and the American Legion Post 158 of Earlham. He especially enjoyed young people and was an enthusiastic supporter of school sports, band events, and cattle shows.

On March 15, 1963, their lives were deeply saddened by the untimely and tragic death of their son Danny, in a car-tractor accident. Gail was also preceded in death by his only sister, Margaret Pischel.

He is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis; son, Philip Gail, and daughter-in-law, Peggy Lee, of Coeur dí Alene, ID; a grandson, Daniel Shawn, of Canon City, CO; a granddaughter, Heather Lynn Martinez and husband, Max, of Colorado Springs, CO; a step-granddaughter, Amberly Mae Trask, of Glenwood, Iowa; a great granddaughter, Meranda Jean Martinez; a great grandson, Robert Lee Martinez; a nephew, Robert H. Pischel and wife, Jo, of West Point, NE and many other special nieces, nephews and friends.

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