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1920 Fred 2015

Fred Higgins

August 9, 1920 — June 2, 2015

FRED HIGGINS August 9, 1920 - June 2, 2015 Frederick John "Fred" Higgins, age 94, a long time Park Rapids area resident, peacefully passed into eternal life on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at his home surrounded by his loved ones. Fred was born on August 9, 1920 in Minneapolis, MN to Fred and Marguerite (Burkmoes) Higgins. As a boy of nine years of age, Fred endured the painful grief of his mother's tragic death. He graduated from South High School with the class of 1938. He then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and spent the next three years helping develop the Itasca State Park into the beautiful natural resource it is today. In April of 1941, Fred enlisted in the United States Marines and served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. He bravely fought with his comrades at Tarawa, The Gilbert Islands and Okinawa. In December of 1945, he was honorably released from active duty but continued to serve in the reserves. On June 12, 1948, Fred was united in marriage to AnnaMae Pachel at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Two Inlets. The young couple made their first home in Minneapolis. In August of 1950, Fred was called back into active duty with the Marine Corps. He immediately shipped out to Korea where he again answered his country's call fighting on the front lines at Inchon, Seoul, Kimpo, Wonson and Yonpo. He received his honorable discharge from the Marines and returned to his wife and new baby son back home in August of 1951. Their first three children were born in Minneapolis where they continued to reside until 1954, when they moved to the Two Inlets area where Fred engaged in farming and worked at earning his degree in agriculture. In the early 60's he began working road construction in a career that spanned 25 years. He spent 18 of those years with G. L. Contractors in Mpls., until his retirement in 1985. Fred worked construction during the week and returned home each weekend to reunite with his family and work on his farm. He was very active in his community and was a faithful member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Two Inlets throughout his life. He was also a charter member of the Two Inlets Knights of Columbus. Fred was a past commander and life long member of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212 in Park Rapids where he was often found working behind the scenes in the kitchen assisting other area organizations with their fundraising efforts. He was instrumental in establishing the Marine Corps League, Star of the North Detachment, here in Park Rapids. Fred was also involved in the 40 et. 8 and was instrumental in establishing their nursing scholarship program. The Veterans Administration awarded Fred for his hundreds of hours of volunteer work for disabled veterans. For many years Fred volunteered with the CCC to present the history of the organization of Itasca State Park. He was asked to serve as the Grand Marshal of the Park Rapids Independence Day Parade in 2011. Above all, Fred will be remembered for his love and devotion to his precious wife, AnnaMae who died last year. He will be lovingly remembered by his eight children: James (Rose) Higgins, John Higgins, Marguerite (Paul) Henry, Sharon (Randy) McFarren, Fritz Higgins, Thomas (Bonnie) Higgins all of Park Rapids; Katherine (Roger) Niccum of Minnetonka, and Joe Higgins of Park Rapids; 13 grandchildren: Leah (Berry) Crist, Ryan (Mindy) McFarren, Amy (Caleb) Swenson, Tracy (Jeromy) Meier, Erika (Nick) Randall, Jacob (Heidi) Henry, Mandy (Paul) Oudekerk, Amber (Max) Turrentine, Jordan (Leslie) Henry, Justin (Hannah Davis) Higgins, Cary (Matt) McLeod, Kylie Higgins and Blake Higgins; 21 precious great grandchildren; many other relatives and his dearly appreciated caregivers. Fred was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Margaret. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 AM Friday, June 5, 2015 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Two Inlets with Father Joe Hitpas officiating. The organist will be Mary Schmitz and the soloist, Tina Grewe. The casket bearers will be Fred's eight children and the honorary casket bearers will be his grandchildren. The Star of the North Marine Corps League will provide full military honors. Interment will be made in the St. Marys Catholic Cemetery next to AnnaMae. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Thursday at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids with a rosary at 7 PM. The visitation will continue Friday morning at the church beginning one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will be hosted by St. Mary's Catholic Church for all. To
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