Bertram (Bert) Wilkie Higgs
April 23, 1931 - November 8, 2017
Bertram (Bert) Wilkie Higgs of Neepawa, Manitoba passed away peacefully at the age of 86, with family by his side, on November 8, 2017 at the Neepawa Hospital.
Bert was born on April 23, 1931 in Bowsman, Manitoba. He was one of seven children born to Herbert and Emma Higgs (Putnam). Bert was raised on a farm and educated in a one-room schoolhouse. Bert moved to Winnipeg for post-secondary education and then began working for the federal government running the theatre in Fort Churchill, Manitoba. It was there where he met and married Catherine Irene Chester on September 14, 1954. They had two children while in Churchill and then moved to Flin Flon, where they had six more children. Bert had many jobs. He was an appliance salesman for both Singer and Sears (spending some of that time in Yorkton), an investment broker for Investors, a projectionist in both Churchill and Flin Flon, and a mining laborer in Thompson. He also had many weekend jobs that included delivering newspaper bundles to the carriers around town, operating a saw and skate sharpening business, and beekeeping - he loved his honey. In 1974 Bert and Irene moved to Brandon, Manitoba with six of their children. Bert worked for the provincial government as a Medical Equipment Technician until his retirement in 1995.
During their time in Brandon, both Bert and Irene were very active in the square dancing and round dancing communities. Bert loved to dance and he became a square dance caller. Bert and Irene danced in many small communities where Bert was the caller - Brookdale, Hamiota and Reston just to name a few. They were also founders of the Brandon square dance club called the Central Twirlers. They bought an acreage near Shilo and moved out to their new house in 1981. Bert was talented, building their house in Churchill and Shilo as well as the dressmaking shop in Brandon for Irene and daughter Gaylene. After Irene's passing in 1998, Bert moved from their country home into Brandon. He had many circles of friends including his Tim Horton's family where he worked from March 2006 to June 2012. He connected with many people through Facebook and was very quick to learn new things on his iphone. He moved to McCreary in June 2012 where he enjoyed the peace and quiet of the countryside and began raising bees again. After major heart surgery in the fall of 2015, he decided to move to Neepawa, Manitoba and did so in October 2016 where he lived until his passing.
He was predeceased by his parents Herbert and Emma, his wife Irene, grandson Lloyd Gurr, sister Jeannette Young and brother-in-law Douglas, brother John (Jack) and sister-in-law Irene (nee Sutherland), brother Cyril and sister-in-law Mae (nee Poulin), brother George, brother Stanley, and sister Sheila Schaefer and brother-in-law Robert. He was also predeceased by many in-laws on the Chester side of the family.
He is survived by all of his 8 children - Darcy, Berle Higgs-Jablonsky (Dennis), Gaylene Higgs (Mary), Laura Symons, Myrna Floyde (Greg), Ian, Lyle (Natalie), Blair (Kim), 13 grandchildren - Kylie, Cara (Tom), Laura, McKinley (Juanito) and Robert (Brittany), Mathew (Amanda), Nicole (Ross), Ryan (Brittani), Kristin (Aaron), Jonathan (Rachel), Thomas, Charlotte, and Drake and 11 great-grandchildren - Jayden, Raven, Ciana, Everest, Addison, Declan, Jordynn, Leland, Roman, Michael and Carson. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law Elva Higgs (nee House), Beryl Higgs (nee Hartling) and Doris Kirkness (nee Chester) and many other in-laws, nieces and nephews and their families.
A celebration of Bert's life will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Central United Church, 327- 8th Street, Brandon, Manitoba. Should friends so desire, please consider making a donation in memory of Bert to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba or to Cancer Care Manitoba.
Sneath-Strilchuk -McCreary Chapel