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C. Phyllis Higgins(1929 - 2014)

iconC. Phyllis Higgins (nee Charna P. Chelnick), 85, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on May 8, 2014 of complications resulting from a stroke. Phyllis was energetic, gregarious, and fiercely independent. Her red hair, waving hands, and enthusiasm for life were legendary, and dear to the many who knew and loved her, most notably her children,grandchildren,nephews, cousins, and friends from throughout her life, her co-op building at 5000 Marine Drive, and her neighborhood. Phyllis was born in Chicago April 22, 1929, to Harry and Minnie Chelnick, loving, hard-working Russian immigrants who fostered her work ethic and devotion to family, friends, and social equality. She graduated from Sullivan High School in Rogers Park, and obtained a bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois. In the 1950s, Phyllis worked in social services at Cook County Hospital. After obtaining a master's degree in social work at the University of Illinois Circle campus (now UIC), she supported families and individuals as a therapist at Family Services of South Lake County in Highland Park during three decades and through a private practice she maintained into her 80s. Phyllis was a long-time subscriber to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera, member of the Art Institute, and served as a volunteer usher at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Steppenwolf Theater. She regularly attended plays, art exhibits, concerts, ballet, and other cultural events, and loved to travel abroad. Phyllis was politically active, and participated in numerous electoral campaigns and marches for civil rights, and to end the war in Vietnam. She relished talking to young people. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by her daughter Robin Karney (Peter), son Jonathan Higgins, grandchildren Daniel Karney (Angela Toole) and Benjamin Karney (Laura), and nephews Robert Chelnick and Alan Chelnick. Memorial service Friday May 16, 2014, 11:00 A.M. in the chapel of Westlawn Cemetery and Mausoleum, 7801 W. Montrose Avenue, Norridge, where interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to an organization of your choosing. Arrangements entrusted to Lakeshore Jewish Funerals, 773-625-8621

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Funeral Home

Lakeshore Jewish Funerals
3480 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 625-8621

Published in Chicago Tribune from May 10 to May 11, 2014
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