Gail Campbell Higgins, March 25, 2018

Press Release


Gail Campbell Higgins
Aurora, Maine
Died March 25, in Springfield, NH
Gail Campbell Higgins was born on December 20, 1947, the second of 6 children to Floyd and Kathleen Campbell in St. Johnsbury, VT. She graduated from Orono High School, Orono, ME in 1965. At Nasson College she met her future husband of 49 years, Richard E. Higgins Jr. of Bangor, ME. Married on January 17, 1969, after earning their degrees, the young couple moved to Boston, the first of many places on the path of their life together. They raised their children in Andover, NH. Wherever she lived, she was a full time mother while managing a career. With Associates degrees in Business and Finance, she brought her energy to such varied positions as Bank Branch Manager for Bar Harbor Banking and Trust in Machias, ME and Bar Harbor, Union Trust in Ellsworth, ME, Lake Sunapee Savings in New London, NH, Bank of New Hampshire in Concord, NH, Town Clerk in Andover, NH, Registrar of Voters and Planning Commission in Aurora ME.
Though small in stature, her heart made room for everybody. She was a fierce and formidable opponent of ignorance in its many forms. Her petite presence held a capacity for intense expression of intellect and emotion. Her greatest love was for children, books, and learning. She was a middle school librarian in Corinna ME and was always willing to serve on committees and fundraisers including the Board of the Porter Memorial Library in Machias.
After retirement, Gail and Rick built their dream house deep in the forest. She toted lumber, pounded nails and kept us all well fed. She was proud to tell people “we live off the grid”. She loved working in her garden, but the best part was time with her children and grandchildren who constructed exquisite “fairy houses” in the woods. She made sure they washed the fish smell off hands before meals, wore life jackets if within sight of water, brushed their teeth and went to bed early so they could read more stories. She was also known to instigate fiercely competitive family games like Candy Land, Sorry, Clue, cards, and beginner’s piano lessons. She played paper dolls, legos, jump rope and badminton as long as the kids were there to share the joy.
Every winter, Gail made hundreds of Christmas cookies for all her grandchildren. Summer was hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire. Spring was for violet blossom jelly and early mornings were for homemade bread cut into cinnamon toast soldiers. Gail treasured small sweet special moments like lunch with a daughter and grandchild, flea markets with a friend, the first wild rose blossoms in a glass on the table and especially rare weekend trips with her sisters and mother. Plenty of now grown children benefited from her patient tutoring. After more than 50 years, she still thought her husband was the best looking, funniest, most musically talented man she had ever met which means she has left behind the luckiest kind of man. This love would also explain, the nightcrawlers in the fridge, her knowledge of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and her finesse with a little corn meal and a brook trout.
She is survived by her mother, Kathleen Campbell of Strafford, VT, husband Richard E. Higgins Jr. of Aurora ME, daughters Jennifer Higgins of Tucson, AZ, Heather Barrett of Springfield, MA, Sarah Anderson and husband John Anderson of Springfield, NH, grandchildren Silas R and Ezra Andreas Schneider, Tucson, AZ, Inari-Jade Barrett of Springfield, MA, Gage Higgins and Gavin Floyd Fleming, Ruby Gail, step grandchildren Mikayla Nicole and Jocelyn Marie Anderson of Springfield, NH, her five siblings, and many dear friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Gail Campbell Higgins Memorial Fund, payable to Ellsworth Public Library, 20 State Street, Ellsworth, ME. 04605.
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