Louis Higgins, Jr. 89 died on June 15, 2019 at St. Luke’s Hospital Gnaden Huetten campus in Lehighton surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Althea (Steigerwalt) Higgins and they resided in the Lake Hauto section of Nesquehoning PA. They celebrated 61 years of marriage in February, 2019. Born on March 8, 1930 in Nesquehoning, he was the son of the late Louis Sr. and Anna (Marek) Higgins. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Nesquehoning where he served as Treasurer for 27 years. He was a tool and dye machinist for the former Keystone Lamp Manufacturing Company and retired in 1988.
“Lou” was a 1948 graduate of Nesquehoning High School. He excelled in football and basketball for four years. Although Nesquehoning High did not have a baseball team, he played for the town’s Diamond team as well as American Legion ball for four years.
In football, he played two years at halfback and another two at fullback. He was moved to fullback because of his excellence in ball handling, power and speed. An accurate passer and blocker, he also did the punting and placekicking. Along with his duties on offense, Lou was a punishing tackler on defense at the halfback and linebacking positions. During his junior year of 1946, he received honorable mention on the All-State team. As a senior, he was a unanimous selection at fullback on the All-State First Team.
In baseball, Lou had many honors in Legion ball. He played two years in Legion All-Star games at the old Shibe Park Station in Philadelphia. He was also selected to be on the all Carbon-Schuylkill roster for two years. After graduating from high school, Lou spent one year at Duke University before signing on to play professional baseball. After two years of minor league baseball (Philadelphia Phillies), he was drafted by the U.S. Marines during the Korean Conflict, where he also served for two years. A serious injury in the service ended his career as a ballplayer. Lou always gave credit for his success to his fellow team mates and the great coaches he played for over the years. He was inducted into the Carbon County Hall of Fame in 1996. Lou was a member of the Nesquehoning Legion and held lifetime membership in the Tamaqua Elks. He was a member of the Coaldale Rod & Gun Horseshoe League and the Coaldale Rod & Gun Club Senior Golf League.
Surviving in addition to his widow are three sons, Louis III and his wife Marian of Newtown, Gary and his wife Trisha of Lehighton, and Steven and his wife Adrienne of Downingtown. Seven grandchildren, Sarah, Meghan, Jeremy, Gary Edward, Kaitlin, Jordan and Devon. Lou was preceded in death by brothers Stephen Higgins and Robert Higgins and by sisters Joan Higgins, Jean Higgins and Lizabeth Higgins.
Funeral services will at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 at the Bruce A. Nalesnik Funeral Home, 57 West Center St. Nesquehoning PA 18240 with the Rev. Marjorie Keiter Officiating, followed by interment with military graveside services at Sky-View Memorial Park, Hometown PA. Calling hours will be held on Saturday morning at the Funeral Home from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Carbon County United Way, c/o United Way of the Lehigh Valley, 1110 American Parkway NE, Allentown PA 18109. Online condolences may be expressed at www.nalesnikfh.com. Services and arrangements are being provided by the Bruce A. Nalesnik Funeral Home, 57 West Center St. Nesquehoning PA, 18240
Carbon County United Way
c/o United Way of the Lehigh Valley, 1110 American Parkway NE, Allentown PA 18109