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Obituary: Helen Corlett Higgins, 97

Helen Corlett Higgins died peacefully on Aug. 22, 2022, at age 97.
She and her husband Charles Wheaton Higgins (deceased 2015) raised four children, Charlie (Abby Huntoon), Beth (Rick Ramsson), Tom (Lucy) and Cathy (Tom Kamm). She was Nana to Sarah, Robert, Gretchen, Eric, Thomas, Meredith, Caitlyn, Jordan and Jenny, and to her great grandchildren Natalie, Chelsea, Addison, Luke, Ethan, Quinlyn, Ivy, Madison and Helen.
Helen was forever curious, fun, accepting, loving and active. She was born in Oak Park, attended Oak Park River Forest High School and the University of Michigan, as did most of her immediate family.
She was a self-made artist, though would not have claimed that. Her passions stemmed from keeping her hands busy. She was a talented watercolor artist, sculpted wood and clay, knit intricately-designed sweaters, hand-sewed king- and queen- sized quilts, carved miniature furniture, created lost wax jewelry, made numerous needle point pillows, constructed enormous, braided rugs from old wool clothing and insisted on silence during Julia Child’s cooking show.
Helen played tennis until she was 94, golf through her 96th year, and gin rummy until she passed. She kept her Corlett sense of humor through the final days. Her dry, refreshing wit provoked a grin if not a full-on belly laugh.
Like many in her generation, she supported her community through volunteering. She joined the Art Institute’s Art Lady program, which allowed her to introduce famous pieces of art to elementary children in the local school. She gave her time to Infant Welfare through staffing the Economy Shop. She was a docent for the Art Institute of Chicago.
She provided leadership for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and hosted foreign exchange students in her home. by providing housing, food, and an orientation to social experiences in the Midwest.
Her sweetness will be remembered and missed.
A private Celebration of Life will be held at Shell Point’s Retirement community and next summer at the beloved family home in Douglas.

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