James Ainslie Higgins
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of our father, James “Jimmy” Ainslie Higgins on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney.
Born in Sydney Mines on September 11, 1929, James was the son of the late Thomas and Genevieve Higgins. James is survived by his three sons; Brian (Marion), Russ (Florence), Jeff (Leeann), five grandchildren; Ryan, Stephanie (Sean), Kalan (Madison), Halle and Reese and four great-grandchildren; Aurora, Skylar, MacKenzie, and Molly, also surviving is his sister, Rose (late John) and his sisters-in-law Yvonne and Philomena Higgins and many nieces and nephews .
Besides his parents, James was predeceased by his loving wife Frances “Fanny” (Olson) Higgins, his brothers Tommy, Alvin, Cyril (Thelma) and his sisters Margaret (Bud) and Sadie (Ozzie).
James started his working life delivering milk for the Sydney Mines Co-op. The boys have memories of him telling stories about his deliveries as they were quite an adventure given that the milk was delivered by horse and wagon. His lifetime career was a coal miner for Devco. He worked at Princess Colliery in Sydney Mines first underground and later on the weigh scales.
James was a member of Immaculate Conception Church and later Holy Family Parish. At Immaculate Conception he was a longtime member of the choir and regularly sang solos. His singing voice was well known and he sang at countless weddings and funerals for family and friends. Aside from hymns, his favourite song was “Danny Boy”. James was a resident at the Northside Guest Home and as recently as last Christmas, he sang Christmas Carols for the residents.
James was a true animal lover and probably to the dismay of his Brown Street neighbours, he raised a variety of animals which included a horse named “Jack”, chickens, rabbits, racing pigeons, a very talkative parrot, fish, dogs and any animals his boys brought home. James spent countless winter hours making backyard rinks and the boys enjoyed the fruits of his labour. He also devoted a lot of his time to coaching baseball and hockey and he was a dedicated fan at his boys’ hockey games.
James was a talented ball and hockey player. In his youth he played ball throughout the Maritimes. He was proudly made a member of the Northside Sports Hall of Fame.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nursing staff of 4West at the Northside General Hospital. Their professionalism and their gentle, compassionate care during the last few weeks of his life is greatly appreciated.
Cremation has taken place and a graveside committal service will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery, Sydney Mines at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia or CNIB. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com .
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