Our beloved mother, Lillian Mary Higgins Hartzell, passed away with her family at her side on February 12, 2020 at her home in Angier, NC. She was a strong, independent woman who overcame the loss of her own mother at an early age and a difficult childhood. She had a loving, generous spirit and was quick to forgive people. She will be remembered for her intelligence, wit and sense of humor. The family will hold a private service at a future date.
Lillian was born on April 16, 1935 in Plainfield, NJ and grew up in Dunellen, NJ. She lived most of her adult life in Piscataway, NJ where she was a longtime employee of the Piscataway Township Police Department. She proudly served as Dispatcher 1, the township’s first civilian police dispatcher, until her retirement in 1995. Since then, she lived in Angier, NC where she enjoyed many interests in her free time. She loved her dogs, doing Sudoku puzzles, and drinking many cups of tea each day. She was also a devoted volunteer who, upon her relocation to North Carolina, spent time teaching English as a second language to neighborhood children. More than any other activity, she loved playing Uno with her children and grandchildren.
Lillian was the daughter of Lloyd Stringer Higgins and Grace Winifred Moore Higgins, and stepmother Minnie Mae Higgins, who all predeceased her. She was also predeceased by brothers Herbert, Edward and James and sister Grace Harned. She is survived by her sister Dorothy Higgins (Sister Elaine of the Carmelite Monastery in Morristown, NJ), her children Richard Fericy (Dolores) of Clayton, NC, Elizabeth Wood (Anthony) of Sumerduck, VA, Jessica Guido (Glen) of Angier, NC, David Hartzell (Victoria) of Maple Shade, NJ, Beverly Blanco (Isaac) of South Plainfield, NJ and Valerie Falkenberg (David) of Logan Township, NJ. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.