John Robert Higgins, 91 years old, of Ankeny, Iowa, formerly of Aurora, Iowa, passed away on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was born on March 30, 1925, in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Leroy and Lena (Martin) Higgins. After school he began work on the family farm. He joined the Army in 1945, and was deployed to Italy to serve in WWII. On October 9, 1949, he and Gladys Edna (Roepke) were married at the First Baptist Church in Independence, Iowa. John farmed from 1949 – 2002. In addition to farming John worked at Transco Railway and Aurora Supply along with other jobs. After retirement he worked at Walmart in Independence and Ankeny. After yet another retirement he worked at a car wash in Ankeny and kept busy with odd jobs. He was well known for his love of Farmall “red” tractors and stopping by to visit. He enjoyed playing cards and dice, camping, and traveling, but mostly he enjoyed being surrounded by his grandchildren and family. John was a member of the Aurora and Lamont Baptist Church and the American Legion.
Mr. Higgins is survived his three daughters, Jacalyn Ratcliff of Waterloo, and Jillyn (Martin) Cardenas and Johanna Land, both of Ankeny, and eight grandchildren, Hilary Ratcliff, Jessica and Tanner Goolsby, Trevor Cardenas, Nicolette Land, Elyssa Land, Isabella Cardenas, and Nathaniel Higgins Land. He is also survived by his sisters, Sally Murphy, Deleva Platt, and Nancy Hoffman; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Eileen Higgins Long; Nancy Higgins, Dorothy Knavel, Thelma Duckett, Elaine Rockwood, Marilyn (Gene) Medberry, Judy (Mark) Lang, Alice Roepke-Vega, and Susan Roepke and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his son, Jonathan Higgins, two brothers, Richard Higgins and Arnold Higgins.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at the First Baptist Church in Independence, Iowa, with Rev. Mike Nemmers officiating. Music will be provided by soloist Roger Miller and accompaniment by Linda Nemmers, burial will be in Hazleton Cemetery in Hazleton, Iowa. Friends may call for visitation from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, at the White funeral home Independence, Iowa.