Juanita Higgins

Obituary of Juanita Vance Higgins

Juanita Vance Higgins passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on January 31, 2021.  She was born in Kernersville, North Carolina, to Kemp Odell Vance and Elsie Mabe Vance and was a lifelong resident there until failing health required a move to Countryside in Stokesdale.


Juanita was a graduate of Kernersville High School and received the degree of Registered Nurse from St. Leo’s Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina.  She served on the staff of Dr. Richard H. Whitaker, a longtime family physician in Kernersville.


Juanita’s greatest loves were her family and her church.  She was an active member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Kernersville for over seventy-eight years, fully participating in the United Methodist Women, Sunday School, and Senior Adult Bible Study.  She first met her future husband, Claude Vernon Higgins, in the Chancel Choir.  There they made beautiful music together and were married for 47 years until his death in 1991.  During that time they raised their three children in the Christian faith and rarely missed a Sunday or any other church gathering.


Juanita never missed a Vance or Higgins reunion and was very close to her family.  We fondly remember how she faithfully invited her children and grandchildren to Sunday dinner after the church service every Sunday.  She was a great cook and baked the best pound cake ever.  Mamie and Pawpaw were always available to love and spoil their grandchildren when the opportunity presented itself.  At the last Thanksgiving when all the family gathered in the Higgins home, Juanita called everyone to form a circle holding hands for the blessing.  She looked around at all of her family with a big smile and said, as her voice broke, “We’re all here!”


Juanita was predeceased by her parents; her brother, Zebulon Daniel Vance,; and her sister, Mary Vance Mullinax.  Survivors include her daughter, Claudia Whitaker and Frank of Oak Ridge; daughter, Jennifer Parsons of Kernersville; son, David Higgins of Winston-Salem. Her grandchildren include, Ellen Bragdon and  David of Raleigh, Vance Whitaker and Terri of Brandon, Florida, Sharon Cooke Young of Thomasville, Jason Higgins and Amanda of Thomasville, Daniel Higgins and Lydia of Winston-Salem, and Lori Welch and Jeff of Advance.  Juanita was also blessed with thirteen great-grandchildren.


The family plans to hold a graveside service at a later date.


Memorials may be sent to the Chancel Choir, Main Street United Methodist Church, 306 South Main St., Kernersville, N.C.  27284.


Friends and family may view, and sign the guestbook at www.Pierce-JeffresonFuneralService.com

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