Nancy Ann Lazo Higgins, the matriarch of the Higgins family, returned to the Lord on August 14, 2019 following a decade long battle with ovarian cancer. Nancy was first and foremost the Higgins family’s greatest cheerleader and supporter. Nancy will be remembered for her relentless optimism, fidelity, honesty, generosity, gentleness of spirit and most of all, for the font of love and goodness she was for her family and friends.
Nancy is survived by her husband, Thomas G. Higgins, MD, of Vero Beach, Florida, and five sons, Thomas M. Higgins of Burlington, VT, J. Christian Higgins, MD of Middlebury, VT, Jeffrey P. Higgins of Summit, NJ, Peter J. Higgins, MD of Yarmouth, ME and David P. Higgins of Atlanta, GA.
Nancy was blessed with nineteen grandchildren: Tommy, Molly, Nora, Kate, Sara, Christian, Conor, Cassidy, Cole, Paxton, Troy, Peter, Ben, Matthew, Sally, Charlie, Cooper, Jack, and David. Whenever the Higgins gather hereafter, Nancy will continue to be the guiding spirit and cornerstone of the family.
Nancy was born in 1935 to Michael and Eva Lazo of Pottsville, Pennsylvania and is survived by three beloved siblings, John, Lee, and Jane. Nancy shared an inseparable bond with her younger sisters who looked up to her throughout her lifetime.
Nancy first left home for Linden Hall College where she obtained her degree as a medical technologist. Nancy subsequently moved to Newark, NJ to continue her education at Seton Hall University while residing with her beloved Aunt Mary and working at a medical office. In 1956, she met her life-long love, partner, and eventual husband of 58 years, Thomas Gerald Higgins of Short Hills, New Jersey. They married in 1961 and welcomed five boys over the next eight years. Nancy immersed herself in the mutual love and admiration of her growing family, and thrived as wife, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, niece, and cousin. Nancy was devoted and loving in all of these roles, as well as the many friendships she would nurture and enjoy.
In 1976 the family relocated from South Orange, New Jersey to New Vernon, New Jersey. All five boys attended Delbarton School, St Mary’s Abby in Morristown, New Jersey. Over the many years to come, and to this day, the family enjoys a close and personal attachment to St Mary’s Abby and Delbarton School as well as Christ The King Parish in New Vernon, New Jersey.
While active in parental leadership at Delbarton School, Nancy found other opportunities to contribute to the community at large. Nancy participated enthusiastically in the Medical Auxiliary of St Barnabas Medical Center and the Essex County Heart Association. As time progressed, Nancy found further expression of her innate artistic and organizational skills in the area of interior design, first joining a business group in Sparta known as Connie’s Accent House. Ultimately, after burnishing her credentials in interior design, Nancy became an owner of the business. Nancy’s projects involved homes and businesses throughout the region, as well as international projects.
As Nancy and Thomas’ devotion to the Catholic Church continued, Nancy found further opportunity to foster her sense of generosity and empathy as a Dame of The Order of Malta. In this role, Nancy participated in five pilgrimages to The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France in solicitation of mercy for the sick and the poor.
Nancy is dearly loved and will be remembered always through her husband, Thomas, of fifty-eight years, five sons, nineteen grandchildren, and countless friends developed over her full and well-lived eighty-three years.
A visitation will be held on Friday, August 23, 2019 from 2-4 pm & 7-9 pm at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 am on Saturday, August 24, 2019 Church of Christ the King, 16 Blue Mill Rd, New Vernon, NJ 07976. An interment will follow at New Vernon Cemetery, Harding Township, NJ.