Charlotte Elaine Higgins, 93 years, 11 months, 30 days old, passed away on August 9, 2021, at Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center, Ava, MO.
Charlotte was born on August 10, 1927, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin to Leland John Kaudy and Lettie (Ebbe) Kaudy. She was the fourth of five children, raised during The Great Depression.
On May 3, 1947, Charlotte and Leroy Higgins were married in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and were blessed with three daughters.
In 1954 the family packed up their belonging, including a gaggle of geese and a collie named Laddie, on their farm wagon and pulled it from Wisconsin to Lincoln, Nebraska. There they left Sandra and Susanne with Leroy’s sister Pearl and her family so that they could attend school, while Leroy, Charlotte, and Diana explored the farmlands in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Northern Arkansas. They were searching for the perfect farm which they found on Hunter Creek in Douglas County, Missouri. There they raised their daughters and milked Holstein cos. With the girls grown up, they eventually sold the milk cows and did some traveling. They journeyed north to Wisconsin and west to Arizona and California to visit family and friends. They also visited Yellowstone National Park.
They could not stop farming and soon had a sizeable beef cattle herd. This all required long hours of labor, raising and putting up hay for the winter.
Meanwhile in 1983 Charlotte began to go to the Ava Community Center. She volunteered in the kitchen and dining area and was soon hired to be the assistant cook. This job she enjoyed so much that she resisted retirement. When she did retire she continued to help with Meals on Wheels. By this time she was in her 80’s.
Charlotte and Leroy had many friends but Ray and Vi Fritz were extra special. Their daughter Darlene was a playmate of Charlotte and Leroy’s first granddaughter, Angela Epps. They truly thought they were family.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, all three brothers, Robert, John, and Russell Kaudy, and her sister Helen Jensen.
She is survived by her husband Leroy, her three daughters: Sandra (husband Verl Smith of Ava, MO), Susanne (husband Larry Hester of Blue Springs, MO), Diana Parks of Ava, MO, Also seven grandchildren: Angela Wright (husband Darren Wright), Karri Gutierrez (husband Steven), AdriAnn Rode (husband John Rode), Jason Smith (wife Jennifer Smith), Joseph Parks (wife Mary Parks), Jennifer Parks (and Andrew Jones), and Franklin Parks (wife Kylie Parks, and one step-grandson Richard Hester(and wife Rebecca). Sixteen Great-grandchildren: (listed chronologically) Gregory Pope, Courtney Pope (and Jon Byrne), Chloe McKee (and Alex Salgado), Bailey Smith, Troy Smith, Elijah Smith, Matthew Gutierrez, John (Jack) Rode, Michael Gutierrez, Jayse Smith, Macaleb Gutierrez, Hailey Jones, Cohen Smith, Cameron Jones, Penelope Parks, Kennedy Parks. Four step-great-grandchildren: Spencer Rode, Dean Hester, R.J. Hester, and Tristan Hester. Two great-great-grandchildren: Gunner Burns and Maisy Byrne. She loved each of her family dearly. She will also be missed by many nieces and nephews and one dear high school friend that became her sister-in-law, Joyce Higgins, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
The family sincerely thanks Three Rivers Hospice for their care of Charlotte.
There will be several memorial services planned later this year.
Cremation services are provided by Ava Family Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the Ava Community Center and the Douglas County Council on Aging. These contributions can be made at Ava Family Funeral Home, Ava Community Center, or the gofundme page at https://gofund.me/97fa679c .
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