Richard Lackland Higgins (1919-1999)


Father: William George Higgins  (1869-1937)
Mother: Dallas Hammond Higgins  (1881-1991)


Wife: Pamela Sarah Elizabeth Lugg  (1925- ) married 1943-11-05, Newton Abbey, Devon, England, UK. She was born on 1925-04-06 in Trusham, Devon, England; her parents were Walter Lugg and Katie Louisa Cleave.


Daughter: Jane Elizabeth Higgins  (1950- ) b. 1950-03-29, Baltimore, MD, USA
Daughter: Pamela Louise Higgins  (1954- ) b. 1954-03-01, Baltimore, MD, USA
Daughter: Mary Hammond Higgins  (1957- ) b. 1957-08-05, Baltimore, MD, USA

Basic Data

Born: 1919-05-31
Place: Gambrills, Anne Arundel County, MD, USA
Died: 1999-09-05


Record: Compiled by Stella S. Ivey.
Book: Genealogy of the Linthicum and Allied Families, 1934, compiled and edited by Matilda P. Badger.
Find A Grave: Richard L. Higgins (1919-1999)

From the November 1999 issue (PDF) of The Severn Light, the newsletter of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Crownsville, MD. Page 1:

A Tribute to Our Dear
Dick and Arline
   During a single month, Septem-
ber, 1999, St. Stephen's lost two life-
long and active members of our con-
gregation - Richard (Dick) Higgins
and Arline Duvall.
   We will always remember Dick
for his enthusiasm and appreciation
of the beauty that music brings to our
worship. His expert guidance of our
choir and his support of our quest for
a pipe organ were central to develop-
ing that beautiful element of our Holy
Eucharist. The music pieces listed in
our Sunday worship programs as
choral arrangements by Higgins? -
They were composed by Dick!

Page 3:

Thank You ...
Pamela Higgins gives her heartfelt
thanks to everyone of St. Stephen's
for the cards and notes and for the
contributions to the Leukemia Fund,
Hospice, and the St. Stephen's Or-
gan Fund, in memory of Dick. She
and the family have been over-
whelmed by the remembrances and it
means so much to them in this diffi-
cult time.

Page 10:

Dick Higgins
   Richard Lackland Higgins, 80, a
retired music professor at the
Peabody Conservatory and a life-
long resident of Gambrills, died of
leukemia Sept. 5 at his home, after
a seven-year illness.
   Born in Gambrills, Mr. Higgins
had a bachelor's degree in music
and a doctorate in musical arts from
the Peabody and had a master's
degree from Vandercook College of
Music in Chicago, Ill.
   He joined the Peabody faculty in
1955 as a teacher of musical instru-
mental methods and conductor of
the Conservatory Band. Under his
direction, the band evolved into the
Peabody Wind Ensemble. In 1969,
he became co-chairman of the De-
partment of Musical Education at
the Peabody, a position he held until
his retirement in 1984.
   During World War II, he was an
Army warrant officer, and bandleader
for the 29th Infantry division. He held
the Europe-Africa-Middle East cam-
paign ribbon with four battle stars.
   He was a member of the South-
ern Maryland Society, the Anne
Arundel County Historical Society
and the St. Andrew's Society of Bal-
   He served as vestryman, Sun-
day school superintendent, senior
warden and choir director over the
years of his membership at St. Ste-
phen's Episcopal Church in
   An avid sailor, he was a past presi-
dent of the Indian Landing Boat Club.
   Survivors include his wife, Pam-
ela S.E. Lugg Higgins; three daugh-
ters, Jane E. Higgins and Mary H.
Roberts of Chevy Chase, and Pam-
ela L. Higgins of Baltimore; and six
   Memorial contributions may be
made to the Leukemia Society of
America, Maryland Chapter, 200 E.
Joppa Road, No. 102B, Towson,
MD 21204 or the Organ Fund at St.
Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Excerpted from The Capital,
Septermber 8, 1999

From the November/December 1999 issue of The Johns Hopkins Peabody News:

Dr. Richard Higgins: A Life of Music and Adventure

Dr. Richard Higgins, who served on Peabody's faculty from 1955 until 1984, and was co-chair of the Music Education Department and Director of the Peabody Wind Ensemble, died from leukemia this September at the age of 80.

Dick Higgins lived all his life in the Gambrills farm house in Anne Arundel County, where he was born in 1919. The house was built by his grandfather in 1865. An alum of Peabody, Dick Higgins received his Bachelor's degree in 1949 and his doctorate in 1969.

As well as a serious classical musician who loved composers like Wagner, Dvorak, and Mahler, Higgins was a superb jazzman who liked Bernstein, Duke Ellington, and Cole Porter, too. Peabody archivist Elizabeth Schaaf recalls that he would tell stories of saving his streetcar fare to go hear hear Ella Fitzgerald at the Congress Hotel back in the 30s.

Always a perfect gentleman, Dr. Higgins was known for his unruffled calm in the midst of chaos. The small room from which he directed the Music Education program was usually a scene of frenetic activity, with co-chair Jack Carton hyperventilating at one desk. Dick retained his imperturbable demeanor on all occasions ... except when participating in a sailing race.

"At that moment," states Schaaf, "he would become unrecognizable. He'd start yelling 'Cut in there! Pay attention to the jib!' A sailing race always got him going. He'd try and pinch the wind from the lead boat."

Dr. Higgins belonged to the Indian Landing Boat Club. David Lane, who studied with Dick Higgins, recalls: "I have fond memory of bringing our Hobie Cat to the Severn for an afternoon of messing around with boats. Lee and Dottie Martinet were there. Dick had the Laser. The wind died as we were heading to shore and both Lee and Dick started paddling like mad. Somehow it had not occurred to me that 'buttoned-down people who conducted wind ensembles' could be that playful."

Scores and scores of Dr. Higgins' former students now occupy positions in prestigious bands and orchestras, from the Radio Orchestra of Berlin to the National Symphony. For almost thirty years, he trained music teachers at Peabody and continued to serve as their mentor after they graduated.

During World War II, Dick Higgins was a Warrant Officer and Bandleader with the 175th Infantry Regiment of the 29th U.S. Infantry Division. When the Band first landed in England, they had to wait for their instruments to catch up with them, so Dick decided to form them into a choir. A chaplain who heard them sing was so impressed that he requisitioned them for church services, much to the men's disgust. Later, they landed at Normandy Beach six days after the first assault.

The young Warrant Officer had gotten married in 1943 to a British girl. He and Pamela had little time together. In 1944, they did not see each other from the Normandy landings in June until just before the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944. Dick almost missed the Battle of the Bulge because he had been given an unofficial leave of absence by his commanding officer to go down to Devon to spend a couple of days' leave with Pamela. While Dick was on leave, the BBC began carrying accounts of the fighting in the Ardennes.

Worried that he might be considered AWOL, Warrant Officer Higgins sought help in returning to his unit from a nearby British air base. The pilot of a Halifax bomber promised to get him back to Brussells, taking off in very bad weather. The plane bucketed up and down but in spite of the turbulence, a member of the crew appeared at Dick's elbow to ask nonchalantly "Cup of tea, Sir?"

On another occasion the band had a narrow escape while playing at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth. They had just packed up their instruments and were leaving when a German bomb reduced the hotel to rubble. None of the men were killed, just sprayed with shrapnel. Dick laughed afterwards that he had put his baton over his head to protect himself.

By the time the war ended, Dick had received several campaign and service medals, including the Europe-Africa-Middle East ribbon with four battle stars. He carried this spirit of adventure and service into his later professional life. He was one of Peabody's finest!

The Baltimore Sun, September 9, 1999, by Frederick N. Rasmussen.

Richard L. Higgins, 80, longtime Peabody educator, wind ensemble director

Richard Lackland Higgins, retired co-chairman of the music education department at Peabody Conservatory of Music and director of the Peabody Wind Ensemble, died Sunday of leukemia at his lifelong Gambrills home. He was 80.

Mr. Higgins joined the faculty of the Mount Vernon Place conservatory in 1955 as a teacher of musical instrumental methods, and in 1969 was named co-chairman of the music education department. He retired in 1984.

He taught music appreciation at Anne Arundel Community College from 1988 until he retired a second time in 1995.

Described by colleagues and family members as a "quietly dignified and elegant man," Mr. Higgins made his mark at Peabody as a teacher and conductor.

"He was a firm conductor who had a dry sense of humor," said Paula Hatcher, a flutist and Peabody faculty member who had played in the wind ensemble under his direction. "He was so popular that no one ever wanted to leave the group."

"In addition to Paula Hatcher, Richard Nahatzki, soloist and member of the Radio Orchestra of Berlin, and Louis Lipnick, principle bassoon in the National Symphony, are among the many musicians who honed their ensemble skills under Dr. Higgins," said Elizabeth Schaaf, Peabody archivist and longtime friend.

Mr. Higgins spent his entire life in the Gambrills farmhouse built by his grandfather in 1865, and where Mr. Higgins was born in 1919.

He was a graduate of Annapolis High School and earned his bachelor's degree in music from the Peabody in 1949. He received a master's degree from Vandercook College in Chicago in 1954 and a doctorate in musical arts from Peabody in 1969.

An accomplished pianist, he also played the violin and clarinet, and before World War II, performed with area hotel dance bands as well as with the National Youth Association Symphony Orchestra.

"His taste in music ranged from the Renaissance to the avant-garde," said a daughter, Pamela L. Higgins of Roland Park. "And the spectrum of composers ranged from Wagner, Dvorak, Mahler and Beethoven to Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington and Cole Porter."

"A superb jazzman, he came to Peabody when that genre was considered anything but respectable," said Ms. Schaaf.

"He would often reminisce with his colleagues at Peabody about saving streetcar fare to go hear Ella Fitzgerald at the Congress Hotel in Baltimore back in the 1930s. He loved the music of Broadway and was an accomplished bandsman," Ms. Schaaf added.

During World War II, he was a warrant officer and bandleader with the 175th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Division, and landed at Normandy Beach six days after the initial assault.

Mr. Higgins and his dance band members had a narrow escape from death earlier in the war while entertaining at a hotel in Bournemouth, England. "They had just packed up their instruments when a bomb from a German plane leveled the hotel. None of the men were killed, but some of their instruments were sprayed with shrapnel. He said the first thing he did was to raise his baton over his head," said Ms. Higgins, laughing.

An avid sailor, Mr. Higgins enjoyed entertaining family and friends aboard his 30-foot sloop, the Velero.

He was a communicant and choir director of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1110 St. Stephen's Church Road, Crownsville, where a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday.

He is also survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Pamela S. E. Long; two other daughters, Jane E. Higgins and Mary H. Roberts, both of Chevy Chase; and six grandchildren.

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