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 • Dixon
 • Solano County
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Gretchen Elizabeth Higgins
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Birth: Aug. 10, 1893
Tacoma
Pierce County
Washington, USA
Death: Jul. 17, 1990
Sacramento County
California, USA

Gretchen never married, which is not to say she didn't have many beaus who found her quite attractive. Gretchen always put her parents and sister Hazel first, as well as dedicated herself to the education of children as a high priority in life. And, she probably rather enjoyed her "freedom" as a single woman who could do what she wanted when she wanted to do it, especially after retiring from her beloved teaching career to care for her mother who passed on in 1959. Gretchen's elder (and only) sister and lifelong house-mate, Hazel, also never married, was an administrative assistant for a locally owned insurance agency, very sharp in her business skills.

A "survivor" in every sense of the word, Gretchen, her sister and parents lived through the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. The most precious treasured item taken with them in the chaos from their flat was their new trundle-style Singer sewing machine, which she helped her mother drag down the block.

Quite the outspoken one about women's justice issues of her day, Gretchen was an ardent "Suffragette" who proudly marched in protest in San Francisco (probably more than once) to voice her objection to the fact that women were not yet allowed to vote, likely wearing a lettered sash declaring women's moral right to be represented in public elections.

Gretchen was a key citizen of Dixon (previously known as "Silveyville"), contributing greatly to its growth and development, especially during the "May Day" celebrations. She wrote and directed original "pageants" highlighting U.S. historical events and recruited well-known townspeople to be in the cast of characters.

In her 80's, Gretchen still was driving around Dixon by herself. Her last license granted was from a home visit made by a very kind DMV worker, who tested her and granted a special license for "1 mile radius", so she could get to the doctor's office, her beauty parlor, the grocery store and Dixon Community Church. (Family eventually had to relieve her of her keys since she kept damaging her garage wall and car by misjudging distance to park there.)

The Dixon elementary school named for her is something she would have been absolutely elated about. She was a masterful teacher who taught in a 1-room schoolhouse in Dixon with multiple reading levels in one place. Gretchen often utilized other students to help others less advanced children to increase their reading level and skills. She even had 3 of her own first cousins as students, who sometimes had difficulty remembering to address her as "Miss Higgins" during schooltime.

On the occasion of her 90th birthday, some of her surviving students sang a parody tribute to their education under Gretchen's able instruction.

School days, School days
Dear old Golden Rule days
Reading and writing and ‘rithmatic
Taught to the tune of Miss Higgins' stick
You taught us the basics of all we know
Umpired our games and wrote our shows
We want you to know we loved you so
When we were your bunches of kids

Gretchen left this life with a legacy of love and wonderful stories that will live on in her family forever. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Laurence B. Higgins (1860 - 1922)
  Caroline Josephine Timm Higgins (1866 - 1959)
 
 Sibling:
  Hazel Adele Higgins (1891 - 1980)*
  Gretchen Elizabeth Higgins (1893 - 1990)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Dixon Cemetery
Dixon
Solano County
California, USA
Plot: Section 1, Lot 70, Crypt II, Grave D
 
Maintained by: Matthew Kirby Brideson
Originally Created by: RNitsch2
Record added: Jan 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46699240
Gretchen Elizabeth Higgins
Added by: Matthew Kirby Brideson
 
Gretchen Elizabeth Higgins
Added by: Matthew Kirby Brideson
 
Gretchen Elizabeth Higgins
Cemetery Photo
Added by: RNitsch2
 
 
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