Elva Porter Higgins, 97, St. Marys, died peacefully on October 5, 2019, at Midland Care Hospice in Topeka, Kansas. Elva was born October 17, 1921 in Beaver County, Oklahoma, the eighth child of James Wesley and Nellie Rothenberger Porter.
Elva’s early life was spent on a farm in the Oklahoma panhandle where her parents homesteaded. She also lived in Alva, Oklahoma and Fredonia, Kansas. She graduated from Fredonia High School at the age of 16. She enjoyed a variety of work experience after high school. Elva worked for an oil company, and as a bookkeeper, and doing admissions for a German POW camp. She moved to Olathe, Kansas, and worked for Sunflower Ordinance Works in DeSoto, Kansas.
Elva married Mark R. Higgins on June 17, 1943, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Olathe, Kansas. After their marriage they spent 24 years in active military service. As the wife of a career soldier she resettled their family several times. Upon military retirement the family returned home to St. Marys where they enjoyed their growing family and many dear friends. They celebrated 58 years of marriage together.
Elva found volunteer opportunities wherever she lived including: the American Red Cross, U.S. Coast Guard, Catholic religious education, Selective Service, Election Boards, Pottawatomie County Democrats, and the University of Kansas Medical School selection committee. She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Kaw Better Homes FCE and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Elva was preceded in death by her husband Mark on September 9, 2001, her daughter, Patricia Higgins Keller; sons in law Gary Keller and Kris Cohoon; her parents and eight siblings.
Elva is survived by 4 daughters: Portia (Kenny) Read, Richmond; Cyndy (John) Cain, Topeka; Priscilla (Bill) Prather, Omaha, NE; Cassandra Higgins (Larry Hartman), Longmont, CO. She adored her seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Elva asked that the celebration of her life be a time to share memories, see old friends, heal and sing. Elva loved her Catholic faith, sharing a glass of wine and laughter with friends. Friends are invited to honor Elva by wearing their favorite clothes and casual dress. Her legacy is the inspiration she gave us and the changes she brought about in the lives of those who loved her.
During her lifetime she received an enormous amount of love and comfort from her friends and family. Instead of sending flowers, Elva asked for us to take a friend to lunch or dinner and visit about the good things in life.
Elva requested her body be donated to the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys. Interment will be at a later date. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until the rosary at 6:00 P.M. Thursday, October 17, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Memorial contributions may be made to the Immaculate Conception Church Food Pantry or Immaculate Conception Adoration Chapel fund.