James “Jim” William Higgins

Apr 19, 2023

James “Jim” William Higgins, 71, of Milford, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in his home surrounded by loved ones and supported by Hospice, after almost two years of battling lung cancer.
A Rosary Service will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. at the Robinson Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. Visitation will follow the rosary service, from 5-7 p.m.,on Wednesday,at the funeral home. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.,at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Milford. Per Jim’s wishes, cremation will take place following the services and the burial will be held at a later date in the Calvary Cemetery in Milford. Arrangements are under the direction of the Robinson Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. Online condolences may be left at www.spiritlakefuneralhome.com
Jim was born on April 28, 1951, in Mason City, Iowa, and was adopted as an infant by William “Bill” and Lorene (Tunis) Higgins of Waterloo, IA. During his childhood, he spent much of his time at the Tunis Speedway, owned by his grandparents Judd and Marie Tunis. He graduated from Columbus High School in Waterloo, in 1969,and then attended the University of Iowa. After briefly working at Country Cobbler in Des Moines, he returned to Waterloo, working for his father at Iowa Business Machines, Inc., later becoming the owner and President.
Jim met the love of his life, Nancy (Lemon) Higgins, when he returned to Waterloo. They married on June 16, 1973, at St. John’s Catholic Church and raised three children together. Jim and Nancy moved to the Okoboji area permanently in 2011, where he opened Jim’s Handyman Services.
Throughout his life, Jim was an active volunteer in his community, earning the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Award from the Governor in 1996 for his significant contributions to Special Olympics, the Boys and Girls Club, and Metro Exchange Club. He spent 28+ years coaching the St. John/St. Nicholas Eagles football team, winning the championship more than half of those years. Jim’s commitment to nurture, guide and teach responsibility to youth and individuals with disabilities made a significant impact throughout the course of their lives, and upon his family, who often joined him to volunteer.
A huge music buff, Jim spent time restoring old cars, playing golf, boating on Lake Okoboji, and cheering on his kids and grandkids in all of their activities. A natural salesman, he could talk to anyone, loved to tell stories, especially about his grandchildren, and had an endless amount of comic relief in any situation. While many will remember the wit and jokes Jim liked to share, he was most proud of his community involvement and the family he and Nancy built.
Jim’s memories will be cherished by his wife, Nancy Higgins of Milford, Iowa; children: Jenn Bleil of Coralville, Matt (Sara) Higgins of Spirit Lake, and Josh (Tara) Higgins of Des Moines; 9 grandchildren: Maci, Bode, Natalie, Ty, Aaron, Ashton, Jackson, Adelyn, and Charlotte; and sister,Barbara Higgins of Waterloo, IA; and extended family.
Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, Bill and Lorene Higgins; grandparents, Judd and Marie Tunis; and great-aunt, Lois Tunis.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the “Jim Higgins Memorial” for distribution to their favorite charities including St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Catholic Charities and Special Olympics.