Cover photo for Rudy Higgins's Obituary
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1933 Rudy 2017

Rudy Higgins

February 5, 1933 — July 20, 2017

Rudy L. Higgins, age 84, passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 6:37 PM.

Born, Feb. 5, 1933, at Rue Shack Corner, Graves County, KY, to Mary Alma Bagsby Higgins & Stonewall Jackson 'Bud' Higgins. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife, Joyce (Blewette) Higgins, and his parents, as well as his gracious step-father, Delbert Snow. Rudy is survived by his brother, David R. Higgins; as well as his three sons; Rudy Alan (Diane) Higgins, Hugh (Lise) Higgins, and Kent (Dawn) Higgins. Also, his grandchildren; Ryan (& Shelby) Higgins, Rachel (& Tony) Higgins-Klein, Seth Higgins, Parrish Higgins, Jason Carver and Joel Ingles, as well as, the great- grandchildren, Kestrel and Anderson Klein.

Rudy attended grade school in Detroit, MI and Dublin, KY. He then graduated from Mayfield High School, Kentucky, in 1950. He married Joyce in 1952. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Murray State University in 1956, the first 'Higgins' to ever receive a college diploma. Rudy was a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953-1954, serving in the Korean War.

Mr. Higgins taught math in District #150 from 1956-1990, 30 years of which, were at Peoria High School. He was greatly respected by his colleagues and students. Many former students often praise him as their best and favorite teacher. His fellow staff members voted him the "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" award in 1985.

Rudy had other sidelines, serving as "Ticket Manager" at PHS for many years, as well as "Student Council Advisor" and teaching night school classes with the ICC Tech Department for over 20 years.

He truly loved antiques, refinishing furniture, and seeking out a "good buy"!

Rudy and Joyce opened their own antique shop, "Abe's Antiques". They worked as a couple to provide some of the best antiques & collectibles you could ever find. Buyers came from Chicago, St. Louis and beyond. Most of the antique furniture items were personally refinished by Rudy's own hands, a master craftsman at restoration. He was a widely known expert on furniture, clocks, advertising and Peoria pottery.

After the shop closed, Rudy began the most important task of his life, caring for his love, Joyce. He did it with grace, diligence and steadfast love.

In his last years, as he battled cancer, he often said how grateful he was for the friends that gave their time and love to ease his days.

To Rudy, his family and friends say, thank you for all you have done throughout the years for all of us.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 5:00 PM on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel. A visitation will be from 4:00 to 5:00 PM prior to the Celebration of Life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the PHS Alumni Scholarship Fund, 1615 N. North St., Peoria, IL 61603. On-line condolences and tributes may be made at

Service Details

Monday, August 7th, 2017 11:00am

Interment Details

Mayfield Memory Garden

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