Gene Owen Higgins set out for the last time on the morning tide with fair weather and following seas on April 7th in Seattle, WA. He was a legendary fisherman, one of the old guard, with a fishing career spanning 67 years.
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Gene was born November 3, 1931 to Owen and Eva Higgins in Friday Harbor. He grew up on Lopez Island where he began his lifelong passion of commercial fishing at the age of 12. He attended school on Lopez and graduated from Sedro Woolley with the class of 1949, as Lopez didn't have an accredited high school. He then attended Skagit Valley College and Western Washington University where he earned his teaching certificate.
Gene married Carolyn Jane Fader April 18, 1953. They celebrated their 59th anniversary last April.
Gene began his teaching career in Oak Harbor and taught for many years at Madison Elementary and Washington School in Mount Vernon. He was an amazing teacher but his true love was the sea.
He was a respected fisherman and amassed quite a fleet of fishing boats over the course of his lifetime.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Carolyn; son, Scott; and daughter, Laura Jean.
Gene is survived by his brother George, of Lopez; brother-in-law Jerry (and Eva) Fader, of Shoreline; son Larry (and Turine) Higgins, of La Conner; daughter Cindy (and Curt) Genther, of Bow; son Mike Higgins (and Ramona Clay), of Mount Vernon; and his grandchildren Amber Farthing, Melany (and Francisco) Navarrete Higgins, Valerie Higgins, Carley Higgins, Katy (and Chris) Vance, Arielle Genther, Owen (and Jules) Genther, and Chelsea Genther, along with 6 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 900 Skagit St, Mount Vernon. A graveside service will be held the following day, Sunday, April 14 at 1:00 at the Center Church, 312 Davis Bay Road on Lopez Island. Memorials may be made to the
You may share your memories of Gene, and sign his online guest register at www.kernfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home.
Kern Funeral Home
1122 South 3rd Street Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Apr. 10, 2013