Higgins, Ora A. Funeral services for 101-year-old social justice fighter Mrs. Ora A. Higgins, who passed away on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Arizona, will be held at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL, on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Visitation for Mrs. Higgins will be held at 10 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service. Born on September 24, 1910 in Birmingham, Alabama, Mrs. Higgins passed away on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Arizona at the age of 101 surrounded by her family. Mrs. Higgins was the first African American personnel director for Spiegel's Inc. and served as a teacher for 31 years, at Dunbar Vocational Evening School. Mrs. Higgins was the great-great aunt of First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Higgins, founder of the Ora Higgins Youth Foundation, celebrated her 101st birthday at the 35th anniversary of the Ora Higgins Youth Scholarship Awards Dinner, on Saturday, October 8, 2011, at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hill, Illinois. The Foundation's 36th annual awards dinner will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the Sabre Room continuing the legacy of her work. Over the years, more than $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded to high school graduates throughout the Chicago area. In addition, distinguished leadership awards were presented each year to outstanding community leaders. Mrs. Higgins is survived by two children, a daughter, Dr. Murrell Higgins Duster and a son, Rev. William "Chico" Higgins; 13 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Ora Higgins Youth Foundation, 8952 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60619.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on July 29, 2012