Agnes Moore Higgins
"I think the most important thing is to keep busy and do for others. It's so satisfying helping somebody else instead of thinking of your own troubles. I've just had a nice life, I have a lot to be thankful for."
Those are the words of Agnes Loretta Moore Higgins who, at the eternally young age of 103, bid a quiet goodbye to her family peacefully in her own home on November 20, 2020. Agnes was predeceased by her husband, Charles A. Higgins, in 1976. She leaves behind to cherish her memory a large extended family that includes fourteen children and their spouses, Charles and Susan Higgins, Faine and Charles Smith, Brian and Kathy Higgins, Jim and Ginny Higgins, Terry and Michele Higgins, Maureen Higgins, Tim and Frauke Higgins, Aileen and Dr. Christopher Higgins-Clougherty, Jane and Mark LaMarra, Cathy and David Wetzel, Kevin and Sissy Higgins, Agnes (Lorie) and Eric Crump, Claire Higgins, Joanne and Michael Trizano, 36 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren, and her amazing caregiver, Mzia Bichinashvili (Capone).
Born in Oyster Bay, Long Island on July 29, 1917 to Francis X. Moore and Minnie Lenard, Agnes was the third of five children. Her childhood memories of growing up in a simpler time inspired many tales shared with the family including, watching Charles Lindbergh take off on his historic flight, having Helen Keller speak to her class, witnessing the horrific crash of the Hindenburg, attending a seminar taught by Albert Einstein, and escorting Eleanor Roosevelt through the 1940 World's Fair. These stories also caused some of the grandchildren to call her "Grandma Gump".
Agnes attended Georgian Court College on a scholarship studying mathematics, and eventually taught high school advanced math classes. While in college she met the love of her life, Charles A. Higgins. The war caused a delay in their marriage plans but eventually the young couple settled in Charlie's hometown of Plainfield, NJ, where they raised their fourteen children.
Agnes became involved in many charitable organizations while raising her children including The Laurel League of Plainfield, raising money for the local hospital. If there was a cause, Agnes was quick to volunteer. She was PTO president, a Boy Scout pack and Brownie troop leader, and took in several children who came upon rough times. After 33 years of marriage and at the young age of 60, Charlie died suddenly leaving Agnes to raise five children who were still living at home. By this time the family had moved to the shore and Agnes became involved with the Head Injury Association of New Jersey, was a trustee on the board of her condominium association, and a member of The Woman's Club of Brielle where she helped to organize fundraisers to benefit many local charities. A scholarship in her name allowed a local student to receive the same opportunity to go to college as she had so many years ago. Agnes would personally read each application and awarded the recipient.
Agnes outlived many of her friends but quickly made new ones. An avid bridge player, she passed on her love of the game to a new generation. She organized water aerobics in her community and stayed socially involved with many friends,
neighbors, and family. She would often tell her children, "Never say no to an invitation and always reciprocate." As gatherings became limited Agnes' use of technology helped her to keep in touch and lend support via FaceTime to those far away.
The family welcomes donations in memory of their mother made payable to The Woman's Club of Brielle, P.O. Box 502, Brielle, NJ 08730 and noted for The Agnes Higgins Memorial Scholarship. Helping others was a passion of our mother and a legacy we hope to carry on. We wish everyone who loved her will remember her with the joy she exuded throughout her wonderful life. We will forever share stories of our amazing mother. When times get tough remember the words she often reminded her children, "Keep your chin up, dearie."
A private family service and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the The Church of St. Martha, 3800 Herbertsville Rd.,Point Pleasant, NJ. On Tuesday November 24, at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow at St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia, NJ. A memorial service and celebration of Agnes' life will be held in 2021. For information on how to view the funeral mass virtually or to send condolences to the family please visit reillybonnerfuneralhome.com