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Rory Oliver Miggins

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RORY OLIVER MIGGINS, 52, entered into life everlasting on December 7, 2007, in his parental home in the shadow of St. Anne's Church, after a valiant 3-month battle with melanoma. Rory was born in Houston, Texas on September 11, 1955, the first-born of 12 children of Kathleen and Larry Miggins, who survive him. Rory was a natural competitor. He had a distinguished athletic career at St. Thomas High School in basketball, baseball, and, particularly, football, garnering All-District, All-State, and All-American honors as running back. Rory graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1974. He graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a BBA in Finance. He was a lifelong athlete, playing baseball for 16 years with the Houston Men's Senior Baseball League, most recently with the Colt 45's during the spring of 2007. During his 29-year career as a marine manager with ILA Local 1351, Rory rose to Class A rank and served on its Executive Board. It was through his work at the Port of Houston that Rory developed a love of the waterfront, prompting him to form the Waterfront Association that sponsored the Waterfront Fishing Festival for many years dedicated to cleaning and beautification of the environment. Rory's love of music, fostered by his Irish heritage, inspired him to create an East End legend, Local Charm, a venue for regional blues, rockabilly, country, and zydeco bands where he lived by the motto "You are a stranger here but once." His eclectic music bar launched many new talents in the 80's and 90's. He was recognized for these efforts and was appointed the 2008 Honorary Chair of the Musician's Benevolent Society that he co-founded in the 80's. An example of Rory's originality and creativity is the first ever St. Patrick's Day Snake Races held at Local Charm. Always interested in Texas history, Rory joined the Texas Army and achieved the rank of Colonel. He was also recognized as a Knight of Texas for his work in connection with the annual Greening of the Bayou for St. Patrick's Day. In addition to his parents, Rory is survived by his 11 grieving siblings, their spouses, and his 15 nieces and 16 nephews to whom he was a terrific uncle: Eileen Hohlt (John), Mary, John, and Annie Hohlt; John (Debbie), Christine, Julia, and Matthew Miggins; Larry (Sherl), Thomas and Laura Miggins; Maureen Swanson (Pat), Fiona, Patrick, Brian and Kenneth Swanson; Noreen Gottschalk (Stephen), Robert and Daniel Gottschalk; Matthew (Penelope), Gabriella, John, and Maria Miggins; Kathleen (Jim), Elizabeth, Conor, Bridie, and Rory; Neil (Serena), Charlie, Jack, and Adelaide Miggins; Robert (Julie), Lily, Carlo, and Patrick Miggins; Patrick (Nancy) and James Miggins; and Michael (Abby), Molly, Cate and Lucy Miggins. Rory's surviving aunts and uncles include John and Helen Miggins of Tunxis Village, CT; Rita Miggins of Boca Raton, FL; Eileen (Rory's godmother) and Jake Hoppenthal of Artesia Springs, CA; Thomas and Margaret McMahon of Chicago, IL; Andy and Ann McMahon of Melbourne, Australia; and Bridie and Jimmy Morrissey of London, England. He has countless cousins, world-wide, who survive him, many of whom supported him with visits and phone calls during his illness. In addition to his activities noted above, Rory was a member of many other families including St. Anne's parish, the Houstonian Club, Art Car Parade Commission (founding member), the Orange Show Commission, the Waterfront Association, the Texas Army, Slippery Rock Booster Club, Idylwood Civic Club, St. Patrick's Parade Commission, Houston Blues Society (founding member), Dick Dowling Irish Heritage Society (founding member), The Irish Society, The Seaman's Center, and St. Thomas High School Alumni Association. Never was Rory's loyal and diverse network of friends more evident than during his illness when they kept his spirits high and ministered to his spiritual needs. Rory wanted to express his appreciation to the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson who did their best to arrest his cancer. Showing his indomitable spirit, just last Monday, Rory said "I'm your man" if a clinical trial became available. Neither the Miggins family nor Rory could have faced the challenge of this vicious disease without the loving expertise of Rory's brother-in-law and Noreen's husband, Dr. Stephen Gottschalk, who tirelessly trouble-shot on Rory's behalf. The family will receive friends at St. Anne's Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer (at Shepherd) on Monday, December 10 from 5 8 pm, with the rosary recitation at 7 o'clock. The Funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 am on Tuesday, December 11, with a light luncheon to follow in the parish hall. Following the luncheon, Rory's remains will return to his beloved East End for interment at Forest Park Lawndale. Rory's pallbearers are his seven surviving brothers. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made in Rory Miggins' name to the Hole in the Wall Gang (a fund for crippled children) c/o ILA 1351, 7524 Ave. N, Houston, TX 77012; to St. Thomas High School, Rory Miggins Memorial Scholarship, 4500 Memorial, Houston, TX 77007; to St. Anne School Foundation, 2120 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77019; or to The St. Brendan Society, c/o Jeannie Kearns, 10220 Memorial Drive #131, Houston, TX 77024. "Fare thee well, my child, forever. In this world we have lost our joy. But in the next we will never sever. There we'll find our darlin' boy."
Published in Houston Chronicle from Dec. 9 to Dec. 10, 2007
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