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David Howard Higgins, Jr. was born on June 24, 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio to Octavia and David Higgins, Sr. As a young boy, David moved to Chicago, Illinois with his mother where they stayed with family. He remained in Chicago for a few years before returning to Cleveland where he lived with both of his parents. He spoke favorably of his short time in Chicago and often lamented on the fact that the strawberry milk he loved so much in Chicago was not available in Cleveland at the time.
David was a dedicated John Adams Rebel, having graduated from John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1962. He was extremely active with his class reunion committee throughout the years and attended as many reunions, events and functions that he could. He continued to maintain very close friendships with many of his Rebel classmates.
Anyone who knows David knows that he was a proud veteran, having served as a decorated member of the United States Marine Corps and fought in the Vietnam War. He was frequently seen wearing hats from his sizable collection of military baseball caps (over 20 at last count) reflecting his service and pride. He was a natural storyteller and some of his favorite stories to tell were about his time in Vietnam, including the time he and two other fellow marines were missing-in-action following a heavy fire fight. This experience was also reported in a story appearing in both a military newspaper and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He was honorably discharged in 1971 and received the following medals: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/1*, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device , Rifle Badge Marksman 7.62MM M-14.
David spent two years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio before joining the service and eventually earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from The Cleveland State University in 1975. After college, he went on to work as an accountant for Greyhound Bus Lines and then Ohio Bell Telephone Company, where he worked for just under 20 years. His entrepreneurial spirit really began to blossom in the period following his time at the phone company. He worked as a real estate agent and started his own home inspection business. David also combined his entrepreneurialism with his creativity by starting a floral design business and was a talented balloon artist. He loved learning complex balloon creations and showing off his skills. He also utilized those creativity skills to assist his mother with her bow making business. David enjoyed sitting with her for hours making bows and even created an assembly line process to improve efficiency. He was a lifelong learner with a thirst for knowledge. He would audit college courses at Cuyahoga Community College, read self-help books and take adult learning classes (including sign language, ink pen making, floral arrangements, sudoku, etc.). His love for knowledge also extended to studying the Bible. He highly cherished the Bible study classes taught by his mother-in-law, Sis. Devoalia Chappell, which he attended faithfully.
David was a loving and devoted father to his two daughters, Aisha and Tiffiny, from his marriage to his ex-wife, Bernice Lawshea. His role as father involved wearing many hats, including role model, teacher, driving instructor, moving company, handyman, bank and overall source of comfort and support. He was the pushover parent, so the girls knew exactly who to ask when it came to something they weren’t supposed to have. However, he was also fiercely competitive and didn’t believe in letting them win simply because they were kids, so he would gleefully beat them at games and gloat about it. That just made them work harder to beat him and gloat even more.
David loved to talk and would spend hours on the phone catching up with friends and family. He was the person who always kept in touch with everyone. He was an avid coin collector; a habit he inherited, along with part of his collection, from his father. David would often pull out his coins just to look at and enjoy them. He would also show them to anyone who might be interested, even if they had already seen them multiple times.
David was a faithful member of Mt. Pleasant Church of God (Cleveland, Ohio), which later became Fellowship Church of God (Bedford Heights, Ohio). His faithful service included picking up his mother-in-law every Sunday to take her to church. Bro. and Sis. Suberbey would later return the favor by taking him to church when he was no longer able to drive.
Later in his life, David was cared for by his good friend and caregiver, Annette Anderson.
After a brief, but courageous, battle with cancer, David passed away at home, peacefully in his sleep. He was surrounded by loved ones.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his two daughters; Aisha Higgins-Owens (John) and Tiffiny Higgins; six grandchildren; David Higgins (Regina), Adrian Creel-Higgins, Jasmine Higgins, Tyrese Higgins, Tyrell Higgins, Stepfon Smith, Jr.; five great-grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4: 6-8 KJV