Tom "Smith" Higgins, 91, of Houstonia, died Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 23, 2011, at Houstonia Community Church in Houstonia with Pastor Alan Morse officiating. Burial with military rites will be in Houstonia Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Campbell-Lewis Funeral Home in Sweet Springs. Memorials may be made to Houstonia Community Church, Show-Me Christian Youth Home or Crossroads Hospice. An online guestbook is available at www.campbell-lewis.com.
Born Jan. 8, 1920, in Kansas City, he was the son of the late Frank Hayman Higgins and Odie Vard Smith Higgins. He was a graduate of Houstonia High School and attended University of Missouri-Columbia and Central Missouri State University. On March 6, 1948, he married Rebecca Alice Daniel who preceded him in death on Aug. 24, 1993. Smith lived in the Houstonia area most of his life where he was a full-time farmer and part-time poet. He was a member of Houstonia Community Church where he was a deacon, trustee, elder and Sunday school teacher and was also a founding member of Pettis County Citizens Patrol in the 1970s. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving nearly three years with the 373rd Squadron of the 308th Bomber Group in the China, Burma and India theater of operations. He was a member of American Legion Post 276 in Sweet Springs, as well as the Ozark Basha of Clinton.
Survivors include one son, Frank D. Higgins of Houstonia; seven daughters: Kathy Trautman, Janet Hemme and Caroline Vogelsmeier, all of Sweet Springs, Sally Higgins of St. Charles, Mary Alice Stevens of Portland, Ore., Tommie Sue Loges of Alma and Samantha Rieckhoff of Hughesville; 29 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Sally Cook of Houston, Texas, and Rebecca Brockett of Elm Mott, Texas; along with several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by one grandson.