Theresa Marie Higley, age 87 of Springboro, Ohio, passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at Hospice of Dayton. She was born in Garland, Kan., on Dec. 27, 1921, to the late Chester and Louella Johnston. Marie was also preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Frank Darrell Higley, and her brother Charley Johnston. Marie graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1940. She was a member of the Neosho Valley Dairy Farmer Records Association and owned and showed grand champion purebred Jersey cattle. In 1941, she was the Kansas State Dairy Queen and went to Memphis to compete in the national competition sponsored by the National Dairy Association. Her love of dairy cattle and farming stayed with her throughout her life. She was a dairy farmer; a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt; a generous friend; and lived most of her life in Fort Scott, Kan. She was active in the 4-H organization both as a youth and later in life as a leader.
Marie was a member of the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Fort Scott, for more than 80 years, and an active member of the St. Mary's Altar Society. Marie moved to Ohio in 2003 to live with her daughter and became a member of St. Mary Church in Franklin, Ohio. She is survived by her two daughters, Jan (David) Vomacka of Springboro, Ohio, and Edie (Steve) Basch, of Omaha, Neb.; four granddaughters, Kelly Vomacka of Seattle, Wash.; Amanda (Pat) Nichols of San Diego, Calif., and Cassie and Taylor Basch of Council Bluffs, Iowa. She is also survived by her sister, Catherine Collins, of Bremerton, Wash.; her sister-in-law Rose Johnston; her nephew Charles (Ann) Johnston and niece Rita Emmerson of Fort Scott; her niece Diane (Ernie) Nelson of Lynnwood, Wash.; and her niece Nancy (Greg) Hunt in Yuma, Ariz.; 13 great-nieces and nephews; 18 great-great-nieces; and nephews, and many more relatives and special friends.
Marie's love of animals and gardening and most of all her love for her girls and family knew no bounds. She was a strong, generous, kind, and loving person and will be held dear in the hearts of friends and family.
The family would like to thank the nurses and caregivers of Heartland of Centerville and of Hospice of Dayton for the loving care given to Marie over the past three months. If desired, donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, OH 45420 in memory of Marie.
Friends may visit at the Anderson Funeral Home, 40 N. Main Street, Springboro, Ohio, on Monday, July 6, 6:30 -- 8:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at a later date in Fort Scott, with burial at the Fort Scott National Cemetery.