Dr. Robert Earl Higgins, 88, of Hurricane, W.Va., passed away July 20, 2010, in Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston, after a long and well lived life.
Born Aug. 17, 1921, in Clarksburg, Harrison County, he was the son of the late James G. Higgins and Verna M. Martin Higgins, the latter of Preston County.
He was a graduate of Unitus High in Harrison County. In World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific as a mechanic for bomber gun turrets. After the war, he worked briefly as a machinist at FMC in South Charleston. He attended Glenville State College in Glenville, W.Va., from 1946 to 1949. There, he was a member of the golf team and of Kappa Sigma Kappa Fraternity and served as president of student government. After graduation, he briefly taught high school in Smithfield, Pa.
On December 27, 1948, he was united in marriage with Lena Ruth (Rymer) Hauman.
He completed a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Educational Psychology in Tennessee. From 1951 to 1953 he served as assistant professor of psychology and director of testing at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., after which he completed a doctoral degree in psychology and guidance (1955) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
From 1954 to 1963, he was a professor of psychology, Dean of Student affairs, and golf coach at his alma mater, Glenville State College. From 1963 to 1983 he taught at the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, during which time he co-authored three university textbooks. Upon retiring as professor and Chairperson of the Department of Guidance and Counseling, he was granted Professor Emeritus status and continued to teach during summers for another five years.
During the 1984-85 school years, he was selected as one of four "Outstanding Teacher" recipients at the university. In 1988, he was given an "Outstanding Leadership" award by the Toledo Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, a prominent, education, professional association; and he was named "Alumnus of the Year" by the Glenville State College Alumni.
He had been a member of the First Baptist Church of Hurricane, the Masons, the American Legion, Phi Delta Kappa (honorary fraternity), and the American Psychological Association.
Surviving are one stepson, Robert Theodore "Ted" Hauman Jr. and wife, Patricia, of Chicora, Pa.; step grandchildren, Robert T. Hauman III (by Sue Call Hauman) and his wife, Susan Stevens Hauman, of Culpeper, Va., Kristin Lee Hauman of Pittsburgh, and Andrew Rymer Hauman and his wife, Lynda, of State College, Pa.; step great-grandson, Marshall Robert Hauman of Culpeper; nephew, Clifford Higgins; niece, Cheryl Higgins; brother-in-law, William A. Rymer and wife, Mary, of St. Albans, W.Va.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife on June 24, 2010, Lena Ruth Higgins; stepfather, Raymond E. Tracy; and brother, William Higgins.
Funeral service for Dr. Robert Earl Higgins will be 11 a.m. Monday at Chapman Funeral Home, 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, with Jim McGehee officiating. Private burial will be in Meadow Lane Cemetery, Glenville. Friends may visit Sunday from noon until 3 p.m. at the funeral home.
Contributions may be made in Dr. Robert Earl Higgins' name to The G.S.C. Foundation, 200 High Street, Glenville, WV 26351.
Visit www.chapmanfuneralhomes.com to share memories or to leave a condolence.