Gladys Higgins

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  • "Sending our sympathy to John and the family members. We..."
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Aurora - Gladys E. Higgins, 78, of Ankeny, formerly of Aurora, died Sunday, April 11, 2010, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, following a short illness. She was born Sept. 26, 1931, in Buchanan County near Hazleton, the daughter of Rudolph Wilhelm and Edna Ellen Grace (Weitnauer) Roepke. She graduated from high school in Hazleton, with the Class of 1949. On Oct. 9, 1949, she and John Robert Higgins were married at the First Baptist Church in Independence. Higgins was a Certified Nurses Aide for the Fayette County Public Health office for 33 years before retiring. She was also an aide or a cook and baker for several other area care centers and food service businesses. Higgins is survived by her husband of 60 years, John; three daughters: Jacalyn (Dan) Ratcliff of Oelwein, and Jillyn (Martin) Cardenas and Johanna (Mark) Land, both of Ankeny, and seven grandchildren: Hilary Ratcliff, Jessica Ratcliff, Trevor Cardenas, Nicolette Land, Elyssa Land, Isabella Cardenas, and Nathaniel Higgins Land. She is also survived by six sisters: Dorothy Knavel of Hazleton, Thelma Duckett of Oelwein, Elaine Rockwood of Janesville, Marilyn (Gene) Medberry of Elgin, Judy (Mark) Lang of Cedar Rapids, and Alice (Mike) Roepke-Vega of Central City, and one sister-in-law, Susan Roepke of Hazleton. She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Jonathan Higgins; three brothers: Jim Roepke, Jerry Roepke, and Paul Roepke, and one sister, Bessie Roepke, in infancy. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, at the First Baptist Church in Independence, with Rev. David A. Larson officiating. Burial will be in Hazleton Cemetery. White Funeral Home of Independence is in charge of arrangements. Friends may call for visitation from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home. Condolences may be left at Visit our guestbook at
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Apr. 13 to Apr. 16, 2010