Janet E. "Jan" Higgins passed away peacefully at Bickford Cottage on April 30, 2013, with her family at her side. Jan is the only child of Charles and Minnie (Jaffke) Spencer, who both passed away in 1976. She leaves behind her husband, John T. "Jack" Higgins, whom she married in St. Joseph, on Dec. 27, 1958.
Jan moved with her parents to Battle Creek, and attended school there, graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1955. She then attended St. Luke's School of Nursing in Chicago, graduating in 1958 from what was then called Presbyterian St. Luke's School of Nursing. (Currently Rush Medical School of Nursing in Chicago). She obtained her registered nurse license from the State of Illinois and was later licensed in Michigan. She met Jack, the love of her life, in Chicago and they were married in 1958.
They moved to Lakewood, Ohio, where their three daughters were all born and then to Long Island, N.Y., where their son was born. In 1966, they moved to Midland, where they have lived ever since.
Jan worked as a rehabilitation nurse and as the employee health nurse at Health Source Saginaw for 10 years, retiring in 1990. Jan and Jack then traveled the world, visiting many countries in Europe, Asia and Australia. Jan was an active volunteer. She was a Sunday school teacher, Brownie and Cub Scout leader, UMW member, church mission committee member, MCFTA volunteer in both museums, a hospice volunteer and a Lunch Box Learner volunteer. She and her husband started up a senior group at Aldersgate called 55 and 3F's
Jan leaves behind her four children, Judy Sartor of Livonia, Joan (David) Paquet of Livonia, Jennifer (Wade) Wheeler of Hope and John (Tiffany) Higgins of Coleman; and four grandchildren, Chadd (Tabby) Powell, Courtney Sartor, Nichole and Nick Higgins.
The family wishes to thank Hometown Hospice and particularly Lori and Michelle for the care they gave her during the last weeks of her life. They also wish to thank the many Bickford Cottage employees who have cared for her during the last four months of her life. They truly cared for her, and the family is most grateful.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 4, 2013, 11 a.m., at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, with inurnment at the Midland Cemetery. The Rev. Mark Miller and The Rev. Phil Rice will officiate. Jan's family will receive friends at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St., this evening from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., and at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of the service. In accordance with Jan's wishes, cremation has already taken place. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Aldersgate United Methodist Church or their favorite charity.