WARSAW — Richard B. Higgins, Warsaw, was honored as veteran of the month at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Higgins was born on Jan. 18, 1926, to Forrest and Marion Higgins. He grew up on the family farm outside of Silver Lake.
He attended Franklin School, later graduating from Burkett High School. Although he was drafted into the Navy for World War II while still in High School, Higgins was allowed to finish school and work on the farm until that June, as his father had a broken leg and was unable to take care of the farm.
Higgins then went to Florida for training as a diesel mechanic.
He was stationed on the U.S.S. Trego, and went to the Pacific Theater where he was involved in the Invasion of Okinawa. Higgins was in the Navy for two years prior to his discharge as a motor machine mechanic 3rd class. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal. Higgins also received an award for the Invasion of Okinawa.
After the service, Higgins spent several years working as a tomato inspector. He then went on to work as an Indiana conservation officer for 12 years. Following that, he took over the Original Jonah Club Fish Fry business that his father started, running that business until retirement.
He married his wife, Mary, on Nov. 12, 1961. The couple spent over 50 years together prior to Mary’s passing in 2012. Higgins has two children, Suzan and David (spouse Amy), and two grandchildren, Josh and Ben.
“Dad has always enjoyed sharing his stories of his time in the service,” said Suzan, “He’s a sweetheart and has been a great dad to have growing up.”
Higgins’ love for history was passed on to his grandson, Josh, who is finishing schooling to become a high school history teacher.