Francis 'Corky'  Higgins, Jr.
Francis "Corky" Higgins, Jr., age 76, formerly of Meadville lost his long battle to Alzheimer's September 22, 2019. He was born in Meadville on January 11, 1943 to the late Francis Sr. and Bernice (Smith) Higgins.
Corky was a 1960 graduate of Saegertown High School, where he was a High School All-State saxophonist. He earned his BS from Edinboro State in 1964 and his MS from Edinboro State in 1972. He was a member of the Edinboro College Jazz Band. After graduating from college, he taught Biology and other sciences at Fairview High School before starting his career with the Department of Environmental Protection as an air quality specialist. He retired from the DEP after 25 years. After his retirement, Corky worked as a docent at the Maritime Museum for the Flagship Niagara and he was also an usher at the Jerry Uht Park for the Erie Seawolves.
He joined the United States Navy in 1964 and served on the U.S.S. Abnacki. During the Vietnam War, he spent one year on swift boats in the jungles of Vietnam and earned the title of 1st Lieutenant. Corky volunteered for the United State Army Reserves for 20 years as an instructor in the Artillery and retired as a Master Sergeant. He earned a bronze star from the Navy as well as several other commendations.
In his younger years, he was proud to be an Altar boy at St. Agatha's Church. He was the secretary of the Thursday Night Golf League at Venango Valley and a member of both Meadville and Erie VFW and Erie Legion. Corky loved to travel, attend sporting events, especially baseball and football. He was very active in his grandchildren's activities and he loved all of the arts-attending plays, concerts and visiting art museums. He enjoyed participating in the Alzheimer's Memory Café and he loved his best friends, his two poodles.
Corky is survived by his significant other of 25 years, Tammie (Petrucelli) Smith of Waterford; her two daughters, Leah (Smith) Rauscher and her husband, Clint of Cambridge Springs and Ryan (Smith) Kennelley and her husband, AJ of Union City; two grandchildren, Aidan and Finley Rauscher and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John Higgins.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at Cambridge Springs First Church of God 634 Venango Ave. Cambridge Springs, PA with Reverend James Callender officiating. Full military honors will be provided by VFW Post 2006.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Memory Café c/o Unitarian Universalist Church of Erie, P.O. Box 3495, Erie, PA 16509 or Alzheimer's Association, 1600 Peninsula Dr., Suite 15, Erie, PA 16505.
Please sign Corky's guestbook at www.hatheway-tedesco.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Hatheway-Tedesco Funeral Home & Crematory, 614 Baldwin St., Meadville, PA.
Published on September 26, 2019

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Showing 10 of 4 posts

Linda Rausch
Sep 28, 2019
I knew Corky in the mid-1960's when he had just graduated from Edinboro. I remember him as handsome and charming. He left for the Navy while we were friends. He was a good man and a patriot. I am so sorry that his final years were so challenging but glad that he had a "Tammy". Rest well, Corky.
I would like to add that it saddens me that the Tribune printed that tasteless, cruel comment by the previous writer. I do hope you remove it.
Linda Rausch
Sep 28, 2019
I knew Corky in the mid-1960's when he had just graduated from Edinburg. I remember him as handsome and charming. He left for the Navy while we were friends. He was a good man and a patriot. I am so sorry that his final years were so challenging but glad that he had a "Tammy". Rest well, Corky.
I would like to add that it saddens me that the Tribune printed that tasteless, cruel comment by the previous writer. I do hope you remove it.
Jon
Sep 27, 2019
ha ha he looks like Corky the tard
Dickson Funeral Home (Conneaut Lake)
Sep 26, 2019