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Constance Higgins Smith

Constance Higgins Smith
  • February 27, 1926 - December 16, 2016
  • Corpus Christi, Texas

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Constance Joyce Higgins Smith (Connie) died peacefully at her home on December 16, 2016. Connie was born on February 26, 1927 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she spent her early years surrounded by a large and loving family. She entered nurses training at St. Joseph's Infirmary, a large Catholic hospital in Houston when she was 18 years old, but left to marry the love of her life, Jerry Smith, on November 23, 1944. As a Navy family, they raised four daughters while traveling and being stationed to Jerry's many duty stations, including the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island; Alameda, California; Corpus Christi, Texas; Key West, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Kodiak, Alaska; Cornwall, England, and what is now Cape Kennedy.

Connie loved and took pride in being a Navy wife. One of her fondest memories was attending a coronation ball for Queen Elizabeth when Jerry was stationed in England. One of the highlights of their tour of duty in Key West was President Kennedy's trip to the base shortly after the Cuban Crisis.

Connie's hobbies and volunteer work were rich and varied. She was involved in Girls Scouts and the Navy Relief Society. She enjoyed sewing, reading, and, while in Key West, she became interested in "bottling" and has a large collection of antique bottles which she dug up from the beaches of Key West. She was also an avid deep sea fisher woman. The family enjoyed camping throughout out the country and gold panning in California. She had a keen interest in genealogy and was a member of the Mayflower Society, Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She received her college degree in medical records technology and worked at Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi until her retirement.
Connie was a loving, strong woman and Mother figure. Her deep faith sustained and strengthened her while she raised her four daughters, often alone for long periods of time while Jerry was serving overseas. She passed this strength and independence to her four girls. She was a good and faithful wife and partner to her husband, and a loving and devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Harold Higgins and her siblings, Mary Tate and Buddy Higgins. She is survived by her four daughters, Barbara Buchanan (Jim) of Corpus Christi, Texas; Brenda Shaw (Bill) of Tonganoxie, Kansas; Beverly Alford (Mark) of Milton, Delaware; and Bridget Cook (Edwin) of McAllen, Texas. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Gerald Staniszewski (Kelly) of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Shawn Staniszewski (Terri), of Corpus Christi, Texas; Jason Staniszewski (Edna), of Leander, Texas; Evan Shaw (Carrie) of Des Moines, Iowa; Phillip Shaw (Ashley), of Lawrence, Kansas; Michael Shaw (Laura) of Phoenix, Arizona; Cara Cook of Bedford, Texas; and Andrew Cook of Conroe, Texas. Additionally, she is survived by her great grandchildren, Tyler, Mitchell, Amelia, Dillon, Meagan and Julian.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church with A Rosary to begin at 11:00 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Navy-Marine Corp. Relief Society or to St. Pius X Catholic Church.
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