April 3, 1964 — Jan. 8, 2023
Charles “Chuck” Leroy Higgins, 58, of Astoria, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 8 of cardiac arrest.
Chuck was born on April 3, 1964, in Amarillo, Texas, to Larry Higgins and Marilyn (Rose) Blevins. His family moved to Union City, Indiana, in 1964, when Chuck was just 3 months old. He, along with his two sisters, grew up and attended school in this small community.
Chuck attended Union City Community High School in Union City, graduating in 1982. He was on the high school wrestling team, which he lettered in all four years. He pinned 21 of his opponents during his senior wrestling season and was the only wrestler from Union City to make it to state. He also played and lettered in football all four years, and was named best lineman and most valuable player.
You could always find Chuck at his grandparents’ farm while he was growing up. His Grandpa Rose and Uncle Francis were very involved in harness racing, and Chuck was right there in the middle of it. He had some very fond memories of his summers with his grandparents, and talked about it often.
After graduating from high school, Chuck joined the U.S. Army and served from 1983 to 1987. He was stationed at Fort Richardson Army Base in Anchorage, Alaska, for his first two years of duty as a mechanic. It was here that he met his wife, Brenda, in 1985.
Chuck and Brenda married in 1985, and again in 1987 — once just wasn’t enough. Their journey moved them from Anchorage to Fort Irwin, California, to Union City, Ohio, and back to Brenda’s hometown of Astoria. They have been married for 37 years and have three amazing children: Blake, Krista and Brandi.
Chuck was an amazing, hands-on dad. A lot of time was spent going to many different sporting events that his kids were involved in, taking the kids camping, going on bike rides and playing games. He even coached their soccer teams — he didn’t know much about soccer, but they certainly all had fun. Truth be told, he was the biggest kid of the group, and the kids loved him.
Chuck and Brenda were blessed with two beautiful twin grandbabies in 2017, Liam and Lorelai Higgins, who are now 5 years old. They had their Papa wrapped around their fingers from the get-go. He loved spending time with them, and one of his last projects was helping his son build them a playset for their backyard. They were both so excited, and spent many hours playing on it. The only complaint was from his grandson, Liam: He wanted Papa to build him a trap door.
We also have two grand-fur babies, Kooper and Kyzer Connelly. They are both German shorthaired pointers, and one is also part blueheeler. They visit often, and love running around the country home property.
Chuck and his family have been involved with the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival for many years. He was the chairperson of the Parking Committee, and he spent many days every June preparing the parking lot, finding volunteers for each of the shifts and making sure everything ran smoothly. He also was involved with the set-up of the festival as a whole. He met great people through this organization, and formed many friendships.
Chuck was employed by Astoria’s Public Works Department as a lead utility worker. He was employed with them for 10 years. He was a very hard-working person with a strong work ethic that showed in everything he did — on and off the job. He also attended many classes and received numerous certifications throughout his tenure with the city of Astoria.
Prior to working with the city of Astoria, Chuck had spent the majority of his career driving various types of work trucks, operating equipment, installing sprinkler systems and maintaining other peoples’ lawns.
If you knew Chuck, then you knew that he was very meticulous about his yard. We all knew it was a good day when he was out mowing and manicuring his lawn. We had a lot of “good” days at our home, with the best-looking yard in the neighborhood. (No offense, neighbors).
Chuck was a guy with a great sense of humor, and loved making people laugh — even if it was at his own expense. He was also a very kind-hearted and generous man who would help out anyone. But most of all, Chuck was a loving Christian family man, and our family was so blessed because of him.
In his spare time, Chuck loved to go fishing. There are many stories that revolve around his fishing trips. He enjoyed going out and spending time with his buddies. Chuck also enjoyed camping, golfing and get-togethers with friends and family. He was just a great guy who was fun to be around.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Brenda; his three children, Blake (Shannon) Higgins, Krista (Josh) Connelly and Brandi Higgins; grandchildren, Liam and Lorelai Higgins; his mom, Marilyn Blevins; sisters, Yvonne Gard (Joe) and Lisa (Dan) Ward; in-laws, Merv (Kathy) Helmersen; brother-in-law, Mike (Debbie) Helmersen, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Chuck was preceded in death by his stillborn son, Derek Michael Higgins; his dad, Larry Higgins; stepmom, Carolyn Higgins; and stepdad, Glenn Blevins.
A celebration of life will be held at Warrior Hall at Camp Rilea in Warrenton on Jan. 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. (ID is required at the gate upon entry).
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association, Oregon Health and Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice.
You will forever be in our hearts, Chuck (dad, papa), and we love and miss you so very much!