Leo M. HigginsName: Leo M. Higgins
Date of Death: Jan. 14, 2013.
Age at death: 88
Military Service: U.S. Army Air Corps
Military Service (other): He flew as a Bombardier/Navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 336th Bomb Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force based in Horham, England.
Leo M. Higgins, 88, passed away Jan. 14, 2013. He was a resident of Bradenton since 1985. Originally from New Jersey he moved here from St. Thomas, USVI. He was a graduate of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and Rutgers University College of Agriculture.
After his first college year he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew as a Bombardier/Navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 336th Bomb Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force based in Horham, England.
He participated in the Battle of Central Germany bombing railroad marshalling yards and food drops to the starving Hollanders. After V.E. Day his crew returned liberated French soldiers to Paris. They had been made slave laborers at the German extermination camp in Mauthausen, Austria.
After the war he returned to college. Upon graduation he and Rosemary were married and he joined Swift & CO. in the agricultural section of the research laboratory in Chicago. He also managed their poultry research farms in Spencer and Clinton, Iowa. Later he moved to Salisbury, Maryland selling millions of live baby chicks on the Delmarva Peninsula. He also advised poultry farmers on modern production techniques and disease control.
Later he went into agricultural business magazine space sales in eastern US from New York City. In 1981 he retired from Meredith Corporation’s New York office after representing their farm business magazine, Successful Farming. He was a founding Director of the National Agricultural Marketing Association in NYC.
Leo enjoyed many hobbies including hunting, trapping, fishing, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, jogging, bicycling, bowling, flying (private pilot), and vegetable gardening. He and Rosemary did extensive domestic and foreign travel during their retirement. He belonged to the Eight Air Force and 95th Bomb Group Associations, American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, Secular Franciscan Order, Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th Degree, and the Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church. He was a volunteer for 10 years at Our Daily Bread and 12 years for Meals on Wheels.
He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years Rosemary in February of 2011, and a sister Marguerite Heffernan. Leo is survived by his five children Maureen Joseph, of Kirkwood, MO, Leo III of Austin, TX, Rosemary McCabe and Kathleen Rouh both of Jacksonville, FL., and Barbara Micciulli of Freeport, NY. Two sisters; Mary Finnerty and Alice Lauber both of Bradenton, also surviving him are sixteen grandchildren one of whom is the only granddaughter, Olivia Garcia, and one great-grandson, Isaiah Higgins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 in the Chapel at Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church. Committal services were held at Sarasota National Cemetery with final honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.