Mrs. Lee Higgins, age 86, of Woodbury, Tennessee, passed away in her home in Woodbury on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. She was born on January 15, 1936, in Woodbury, Tennessee to the late Cecil and Eula Mai (Bogle) Gannon. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Rob” Higgins.
She is survived by her son, Bobby (Catherine) Higgins of Lawrenceville, GA; daughter, Debbie Higgins of Woodbury; brother, Jacky Gannon of Woodbury; sisters, Emogean Mason, Mary Bowman and Kathy Lack of Woodbury; five grandchildren, Blake Foster, Daniel Higgins, Dr. Dylan Higgins, Mary Kate Peabody, and Ashley Carter; and six great grandchildren, Hayden Foster, Clayton Foster, Addison Higgins, Grayson Carter, Hudson Carter, and Nova Mae Carter.
Growing up she learned family comes first and a little, or a lot of, hard work never hurt anyone. She was raised in the Pleasant Ridge community. Her parents ran the Gannon Grocery, and they went to the Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ. Most families in Cannon County in those days didn’t have monetary wealth but were wealthy in love and family togetherness. As a student at Woodbury Central High School, she and her siblings pitched in and got jobs to help their family. Mrs. Lee worked at the Colonial Shirt Factory while finishing high school and gave her paychecks to her parents to help them build a better home. Earning a high school diploma was no small feat for a young lady in those times, even if she hadn’t been working extra. To top it off, she was able to achieve a spot in the top 20 of her class.
She soon met her future husband, Mr. Rob, and they began their family. Even though they may not have had a lot of worldly goods starting out, they worked hard and provided for their family. The school was right next door to the shirt factory. Often, she would go visit Bobby and Debbie on her lunch break and take them a special treat of a Coke. This made many of their classmates a little jealous. She and Mr. Rob saved up enough money to buy her parents store in the early 1970s, turning it into the Higgins Grocery right in the heart of Pleasant Ridge.
Continuing the tradition of hard work, she and Mr. Rob farmed, raising livestock and gardening. It wasn’t in her nature to quit or give up. Many times, she would jokingly say, “I closed down every place I’ve worked in.” This included Colonial Shirt Factory, Anderson Door and Window, and Alcan. However, her greatest joy continued to be her family. As the kids grew up and began their families, she loved to see the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Keeping them gave her the opportunity to spoil them and share her love of farming. She would show them how to care for the kid goats and teach them the importance of a good goat dog to protect them. Sharing this knowledge and experience with them gave her great pride. She and Mr. Rob were married over 60 years, a great milestone and blessing compared to what many families experience now. In the time since his passing, she began attending church at Smith Grove Church of Christ with Debbie and great grandson, Hayden.
Mrs. Lee was more of a homebody and enjoyed a private, quiet family life. This being the case, she requested not to have a public service. The family will honor her life and legacy with a private service. Those wishing to do so may make memorial donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Association, or Dementia Research.
Share memories and condolences with the family at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337. Because every life has a story.