Gerald Higgins

Wessington Springs

Gerald “Jerry” V. Higgins Sr., 92, of Wessington Springs, passed away Friday, March 25, 2022, at the Weskota Manor Nursing Home.   

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Visitation will be Thursday, March 31, from 5-7 p.m. at the church, with a scripture service at 7 p.m. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Jerry was one of seven children born to Michael and Osta (Lovell) Higgins. He was born on July 22, 1929, on a small farm south of Alpena. The difficulties of farm life during the 1930s were exacerbated for Jerry’s family because of the death of his father in 1934. 

Jerry moved to Huron and graduated from Huron High School. He worked at O.P. Skaggs. Every day after work, Jerry would go to Spargos Drive Inn, where Betty Link was a waitress. On June 9, 1948, Jerry and Betty were married.

Jerry and Betty started their life together in Huron. After a few years, they moved their family to Wessington Springs, when Jerry and his older brother, Ray, opened a grocery store in June 1953. That first grocery store was the start of a 50-year presence on Main Street in Wessington Springs that included a furniture and carpet store, added hardware, transitioned back to a grocery store again, and ended with the Variety Store. Jerry was active in the business community of Wessington Springs and the Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club, which eventually became the Springs Area Community Club (SACC). He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. In June 2003, Jerry retired.

After retirement, Jerry and Betty spent time volunteering at the SACC Consignment Store, enjoying visits from their family and spending time together.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 73 years, Betty; six children, Jerry (Maggie) Higgins of Wessington Springs, Terri (Mike) Mebius of Wessington Springs, Jean (Randy) Shultz of Wessington Springs, Tim (Lotus) Higgins of Arlington, Steve (Toni) Higgins of Rapid City, and Patti (Ed) Fiegen of Brookings; sister-in-law, Marjorie Campbell of Aberdeen; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father, all of his siblings and their spouses, all but one of Betty’s siblings and their spouses; his daughter, Kathleen; and one daughter-in-law, Tammy Higgins.  

In lieu of flowers, the family will use memorial funds for community improvement projects in Wessington Springs.

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