Patricia Higham

Patricia A. Higham

Friday, December 10th, 1937 - Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
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Patricia Ann Higham, Dec. 10, 1937 – May 15, 2019

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Patricia Ann (Begeny) Higham, of Springfield, died May 15, 2019 peacefully at Mercy Hospital after battling breast cancer. She was 81.

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The funeral service will be Wednesday, May 22 beginning at 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church with Father Fergus Monaghan officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Resurrection Cemetery.

Pat was born Dec. 10, 1937 in the small town of Ludlow, Pa. She was the youngest of 10 children. She often recalled her idyllic childhood stating her “family might have been poor, but they were rich in love.” She loved growing up in a large family and often claimed all her older siblings would spoil her.

After graduating high school, a classmate suggested she follow her to Meadville, Pa. to attend nursing school. With no real plans on what she was going to do for a career and at the urging of her mother and older sister Mary, she decided that nursing school “sounded fun.” She later said it was the best decision, for that is where she met the love of her life Richard “Rick” Higham when she was just 19 years old. After dating five years (an eternity she claimed) they got married and started their life adventure together. They were married for 47 years and had five children.

Rick’s work for General Electric took them all over the country with stops in Erie, Pa., Lynn, Ma., Elmhurst, Il., Murfreesboro, Tn., Fort Wayne, In. and finally in 1977 to Springfield, Mo.

With every move, Pat got a nursing job in the local hospital. She often worked nights so she could spend days with her children. When they arrived in Springfield, with kids ranging in age from 6 to 14, Pat decided she was done moving and wanted to put roots down. Her husband agreed. Thus, Pat began a long nursing career at St. John’s (now Mercy) Hospital in Springfield, where she spent more than 30 years working.

In 1980, Pat went back to school to get her Bachelor’s degree. She graduated from Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University) and started teaching nursing at the former St. John’s School of Nursing. During this time, she also earned a Master of Education from Drury University. She was an instructor for 16 years. Pat loved being a nurse and loved teaching and imparting her knowledge to the next generation of nurses. Upon her retirement from teaching, Pat still worked at Mercy Hospital, primarily on the post-partum floor. She also volunteered for several years on Mercy’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and as a patient chart reviewer for Mercy.

Pat was an active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and was a proud participant in its choir for more than 40 years.

Survivors include four daughters and nine grandchildren: Mary Colleen Huycke (John) and their children Patrick, James and Andrew; Lisa Ann Ferbet (Charlie) and their children Emily, Katie and Charlie; Ann Marie Mayuga (Ed), and Joan Elizabeth Straub (Ian) and their children Tivon and Koen; three sisters Helen Davidson, Barbara Travis and Joanne Walker; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Richard Higham, and son, Doug Higham; three sisters Mary Dahl, Peggy Davis, and Ann Hollick; three brothers John Begeny, George Begeny and Donald Begeny, and parents Mary and John Begeny, Sr..

Pat was grateful for all her friends and family, and often would say she had a blessed life.

For more than 12 years Pat bravely fought breast cancer. She was the epitome of strength and grace, never once complaining about the disease or the numerous side effects from treatment. When asked about her cancer, she wouldn’t dwell on why or how she got breast cancer, instead she would say “why not me?” It was that selfless outlook and fighting spirit that inspired many who knew her.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Holy Trinity Catholic Church (2818 E Bennett St., Springfield, Mo. 65804) or to the Patricia Higham Nursing Scholarship fund (P.O. Box 410381, Creve Coeur, Mo., 63141). Money from the fund will be used to create a scholarship for aspiring nurses in her memory.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home, 500 E. Walnut Street, Springfield, Missouri 65806.

Permanent online condolences, stories and photos may be shared at www.hhlohmeyer.
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Memorial Program

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Holy Trinity Catholic Church
    2818 E. Bennett Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 10:00am
    Holy Trinity Catholic Church
    2818 E. Bennett Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father Fergus Monaghan
  • Interment

    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 | 11:30am
    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 11:30am
    Resurrection Cemetery
    4535 W. State Hwy EE
    Springfield, Missouri 65802
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Carole J. Peterson

Posted at 10:53pm
Pat was a fellow classmate of Kane High School, Class of 1955, and was an inspiration for all who knew her even then! She was the most memorable and enthusiastic Cheerleader for all areas of living, not just Sports! When she attended Alumni reunions, everyone flocked to her. She had that unforgettable spirit that just radiated from her being. We were hoping to see her in June once again, but that was not to be. She will be missed by so many. I send my condolences to her family.
Carole J. Peterson, Poughkeepsie, NY

SusanMarie Armstrong

Posted at 02:14pm
I’m so saddened and sorry about your moms passing. I will miss her. She was a one of a kind!!
We used to joke about our funerals taking up 2-3 days because of all the music we wanted sung. She told me many times- so much music— so little time!
I’m also sad because I’m out of town and can’t be there. But I’m sure you’ll give her a great send off to see Ricky and Doug!
I wasn’t quite ready for this - we never are. I’m sorry for you all. God Bless and you all are in my prayers.
Susan Armstrong

Rosemary Parker

Posted at 09:04pm
My condolences to friends and family on the loss of this lovely woman. I never actually met Pat, but felt I knew her well through my aunts, Ruth Miller and Marcia Wissbaum, to whom she was a devoted friend. I know their lives were made richer by her presence, and I am grateful to her for that.

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