Local News

April 4, 2014

‘The community has lost one of its finest citizens’

Higgins remembered as a ‘fine man’

The hallway in James Spence Higgins Jr.’s apartment is lined with hundreds of photos. Some show a young Eagle Scout. Others show an actor in numerous performances at the Dalton Little Theatre. Many show him with his family.

Higgins, 67, passed away on Friday and was remembered by friends and family for being “active” in the community.

“He was a damn fine man,” Sally, his daughter, said. “You can look at this wall and that’s Spence.”

Higgins’ wife Lenore, who goes by Noey, said he was a “character” who had a gift for speaking to large crowds.

“I moved up here in the early 1970s and he was one of the guys that hung out with my friends,” she recalled.

At 13, Higgins became one of the youngest Boy Scouts at the time to receive his Eagle Scout badge, according to his obituary. He was a charter member of the Camp Sidney Dew Alumni Association and received its highest honor, the C.H. Westin Award, which he shared with his brothers Lee and Maynard.

Higgins was also a lifetime member of the Dalton Elks Lodge, passing the affiliation from his father James onto Sally, a third generation Elk. His wife said he enjoyed working with plants and cooking on the grill in the summer.

Higgins was a member of the first class at Dalton State College (then Dalton Junior College) and served as the first student body president. The college named a scholarship after him called the Spence Higgins Hall of Leaders Award, given to graduating seniors active in campus life.

“Even as a student at Dalton Junior College, Spence Higgins displayed traits of character and leadership that served him well throughout his life,” David Elrod, director of institutional advancement for the Dalton State Foundation, said. “The college has lost an alumnus, but the community has lost one of its finest citizens. We will all miss him.”

The family will receive friends at Love Funeral Home on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. A private graveside service will be at a later date.

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