Genevieve Margaret Higgins, 1919 – 2014
Genevieve Margaret Higgins
1919 — 2014
Genevieve Margaret Higgins (nee Hughes) left us on June 5 after a lengthy and inspiring journey (Nov. 28, 1919 through June 5, 2014), peacefully and suddenly (pneumonia).
She was affectionately known as Jenny by her many Bear Valley Springs friends. A long time BVS resident (starting in 1979 and full time from 1986), Jenny enjoyed strong roots in the community including AAUW and Women’s Club. She loved BVS and loved sharing the attractions and tranquility of BVS with her friends and family. Recently, one such visit resulted in the publication of a photo showing five generations of her family. It was a source of great joy.
Jenny’s life was a difficult one beginning at birth in a remote mining town in Chile where her mother (Genevieve Escalera of La Paz, Bolivia) died in childbirth. Sent off to live with her maternal grandparents, she spoke a native dialect until, at age five she was uprooted and sent off by her father (Thomas W. Hughes) to her paternal relatives in Cordoba, Argentina.
She married in 1938, and subsequently fled the Argentine dictatorship with her young two sons. Shortly after arriving in the U.S. in 1950, a daughter was born. Jenny completed raising her children before entering college where she ultimately earned an MS from California State University, Bakersfield.
As a child in Argentina, she mastered English and Spanish, which served her well years later, as an ESL teacher for 18 years at Arvin High School. She was loved by her students and her inspiring life story led more than a few to pursue higher education.
Jenny’s treasured mementos are graduation photos from doctors, dentists, and teachers with notes attributing their accomplishments to her example and encouragement in high school.
As a survivor of the Great Depression, Jenny had a thrifty side. Nevertheless, she readily assisted her family through crises and with education expenses.
Jenny suffered many losses and suffered crippling pain of arthritis but overcame all to find joy in everyday and in her garden.
She lost her first son, Arthur, to cancer. The three men in her life predeceased her. At Arvin High she met and married the love of her life, a sensitive art teacher, Silas Higgins. Tragically, he unexpectedly succumbed to cancer on the eve of their retirement (1986) leaving with dashed dreams.
Alone again, Jenny bravely continued their plans to live in BVS and bought the home on San Juan Drive. In BVS, fate brought Jenny and the late Dr. James Jackson together. They remained loving companions for more than 20 years. They traveled together extensively with lengthy vacations Alaska, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colorado.
Jenny traveled as long as her health permitted ending with final fantastic trip to Cancun in 2010 with her closest niece, Ana Maria Scott.
Jenny is survived by her sister, Maria and brother-in-law, Henry Scott; step-son, Chris (Higgins); son, Edward; daughter, Jean; grandchildren, Gerald, Arthur, Mary, Michael, Catherine, Irene, and Jerry; and many great-grandchildren, including namesakes Genevieve and Silas Hughes of Alaska. She leaves many nieces and nephews being especially close to Elena, Ana Maria, and Margaret.
Recent illnesses established a bond with special care-givers Elizabeth Hughes of Tucson, Rosa and Claudia Hughes of Fairbanks. Jenny’s many brothers predeceased her. Jenny requested no services.
A Celebration of Life is planned for 10:30 a.m. on July 15 at The Woods Pavilion, 323 W. "F" St., Tehachapi. Jenny’s favorite social cause was the AAUW scholarship fund. Arrangements were made with the assistance of Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. For condolences please visit woodmortuary.net.