Joyce A. Higgins, 79, of North Charlestown, NH, died June 10, 2022, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. She was hospitalized with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in mid-January. She was recovering from Guillain-Barre when she succumbed to an underlying heart condition.
Joyce was born on July 2, 1942, in Chicago, the daughter of Harry F. and Calla (Blaisdell) Richards. Joyce grew up in Illinois, graduating from Urbana High School in 1960. In 1962 she married James Wallaert of Moline, IL. They lived in Pennsylvania until divorcing in 1981. They had two children, Judy, and John. In 1982 she married Charles Higgins, a former sweetheart whom she knew from junior high school. They lived in Texas for the next 12 years, a place she did not like. While in Texas, she got into the antique business. Enjoying the hunt was the best part. Finding the treasure for little money was the reward.
Joyce liked to travel, and most destinations involved historic places or gardens. Colonial Williamsburg was a favorite place as was Booth Bay Harbor in Maine. Portugal in Europe was a return trip until COVID-19 interfered. The U.K., especially Wales, and the gardens were the main attraction for her. Daffodil, the national flower of Wales, was her favorite flower. Being a member of the Scottish Rhododendron Society was a delight. Touring with them in the U.K. to some remarkable gardens was fun. Learning about the various species of Rhododendrons was a great experience.
Joyce was an enthusiastic gardener and watched everyday for a new bloom to appear. She liked perennials the best and searched for different hybrids all the time. Unfortunately, the moles and chipmunks liked the flower choices, too.
Joyce was a voracious reader. She like mysteries, especially English cozies, a regency romance thrown in and histories.
She also did some writing, mostly for local publications like “Soonipi” magazine. In 2013 Joyce, along with Marge Reed and Marianne Marsha transcribed and annotated “The Judge’s Daughter,” a young girl’s diary from 1861-1866. That same year, Joyce and others published, “The Third History of Charlestown.”
A talent she learned in high school was sewing. She made many costumes with the 18th century look. She made curtains, winter, and summer ones, for all the windows, doll clothes and anything that needed mending or altering kept her sewing machine humming.
One of her favorite places to visit in her travels was New England. It was decided to move here in 1933.
Being a member of the Heritage Commission and Historical Society gave her countless hours to research the local history. She probably knew more about the people and events of Charlestown than anybody wanted to know. Preserving the history of the area was important to her.
Her last project was finding the Civil War soldiers from Charlestown whose names are missing from cemetery records or monuments.
She is survived by her husband, Charles, of North Charlestown, one daughter, Judy Yurek and her husband, Ken in Pittsburgh, PA, one son, John Wallaert, of Austin, 13 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, one brother, Richard Richards and wife, Joyce of Arkansas, one niece, Suzie Baltzell and her husband, Josh, one nephew, Rob Richards and his wife, Allyson.
As she requested there will be no services. After cremation, internment will be at Hope Hill Cemetery in North Charlestown.
We would like to thank all the medical personnel of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for their caring, comfort and compassion during Joyce’s long stay under their care. Especially all those in the different ICU units. Our appreciation is unbounded.
Donations in Joyce’s name may be made to the Charlestown Historical Society, PO Box 159 Charlestown, New Hampshire 03603.
The Stringer Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
★ 2016 Copyright E-Ticker News of Claremont ★ Website by Bee Balm Productions ★