Winthrop – Margaret Josephine “Josie” O’Higgins (McKiernan) 90 passed away Sunday morning in the comfort of her home surrounded by those that loved her. Following her wishes, her family will honor her life privately. Arrangements are entrusted to Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop.
Josie was born in Drumshambo North, Leitrim, Ireland on April 11, 1931, daughter of the late James (Sonny) and Katie (Gannon) McKiernan.
She emigrated to NY in 1952 and was reconnected with Francis (Frank) Joseph O’Higgins from Cloone, Leitrim, Ireland and married in Chicago on October 29, 1955. Frank predeceased her on July 22, 2005.
Josie was the Housekeeping Manager for the McQuade Foundation in New Windsor, NY until retirement.
Josie had a positive impact on all who knew her through her sweet and gentle soul. Her kindness, grace and loving gestures were known to all her immediate and extended family worldwide and to all her friends and neighbors. Josie was a rare and precious friend. ALL would agree to know her was to Love her.
In Ireland she loved the ceilidh and Frank (violinist) and Josie brought that tradition to America filling their homes with musicians, dancers and great food and the endless cups of Tea.
Josie and Frank also enjoyed square dancing for many years and the wonderful activities of the Fiddlers of the North County that Frank was a member of.
Josie was an enthusiastic and energetic gardener who was a vegetarian for 60 years, she was known for her amazing fresh trout dinners with vegetables, and flowers from her garden.
Her favorite pastime was to sit at the river’s edge sewing or knitting socks while her family members flyfished anticipating a lovely trout dinner.
Josie was the most amazing quilter and made sure each family member had a hand quilted masterpiece from her. She felt she was giving part of her soul to the recipients of these special gifts, and it was her legacy to them.
Josie loved all her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all her nieces and nephews and never missed a birthday or celebration and was connected to each one in a special way.
Josie loved to go back to Ireland to visit with her nieces and nephews and the old, thatched cottage and talk about her wonderful childhood and her loving parents.
She also enjoyed traveling with her many friends in America exploring new areas, having new experiences, and sprinkling joy wherever she went.
Josie is survived by her children, son, Brendan J. O’Higgins of Potsdam NY, daughter, Veronica Mary and spouse Burness Malcolm Lawson, Kent Island MD, son Kieran Francis O’Higgins and spouse Brenda O’Higgins of Pasadena MD, five grandchildren, Shane Michael Reeder, Kevin Francis Reeder and spouse Amanda Lynn Reeder, Malcolm Burness Lawson, Melissa Ann Caldwell and spouse Christopher Caldwell and Matthew White and spouse Suzey, eight great grandchildren, Emma Rose Reeder, Summer Rose Reeder, Derrick Landon Reeder, Molly Jean Reeder, Dylan Michael Reeder, Aiden Malcolm Lawson, Connor Brice Caldwell and Morgan McKenzie Caldwell and many nieces and nephews in Ireland, England and Guam, etc. She was predeceased by her sister and her husband, Mary and Jack Fullerton and her brother and his wife, John and Mae McKiernan.
If Roses grow in Heaven Lord, please pick a bunch for me, place them in my mother’s arms and tell her they are from me. Tell her I love her and miss her and when she turns to smile, place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for a while. Because remembering her is easy, I do it every day, but there is an ache within my heart that will never go away.