LAVALE — Shirl Austin Higgs, 93, on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, Thanksgiving Day, went to be with the Lord while sleeping on his bed at home. Quick as a flash of lightening angels surrounding him carried his glorified body through the air thru portals of glory, through Pearly Gates and straight into the arms of Jesus. He is facing his Savior, who says. “Enter good and faithful servant, you fought a good fight and the race is Won! You are an heir and joint heir to the throne of God.”
Born June 4, 1919 in Glady, W.Va., he was the son of the late C. Joseph and Katie (Thompson) Higgs. He was one of five boys and six girls and the last living member of his family.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Sindy) Higgs, who was secretary at Cresaptown School for 31 years. He and Lizzie were happily married for 73 years and lived in Cresaptown most of those years.
Shirl enlisted in the Army in February of 1943. He served in World War II European theatre of Operations, including the Battle of the Bulge. He received medals including, Good Conduct; European African; and Middle Eastern Service. His Service ribbons included the Bronze Arrow head, World War II Victory Ribbon and the American Theatre Service Ribbon. He was employed at the Celanese Corporation and he later was employed as the head custodian of Cresaptown School. Shirl was also self-employed at Shirl’s Home Improvement. He received his high school diploma and attended Catherman’s Business School. Shirl received his diploma for portrait and commercial photography from Progressive School of Photography on the campus of Yale University in New Haven Conn.
Shirl was known for his humor, perfectionism and poetry. He has written hundreds of poems on a variety of topics such as personal, military, religion and humor, many of which should be published. He loves music and once sang in a quartet. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. He was quick to entertain for hours with his jokes and war stories. His family is very proud of his World War II military service to his country. For that we say “Thanks Pap for serving proudly as an Army soldier to defend our country...we are proud of you.”
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Western Maryland Hospital Home Hospice team. They were a God send in a time when we were in need.
He attended The House of Prayer in Frostburg and was a faithful and loyal member. His Pastor is his grandson, Seth G. Wharton.
He is survived by one daughter, L. Benay Wharton and husband Robert, LaVale; four grandchildren Beth Wilson, Tim Wharton and wife Tracey, Tonya Wharton, and Seth Wharton and wife Kendra; 10 great-grandchildren, Autumn Wilson, Erin Wilson, Ashlyn Wilson, Tyler Wharton and wife Christine, Dustin Wharton, Brooke Wharton, Sarah Wharton, Isaiah Wharton, Rachael Wharton, Hannah Wharton; and one great-great grandchild, Van Miller. He is also survived by special family members, Carol Fennell, Charley and Mary Lou Harper, Margaret and Robert Skidmore, Betty Wotring and Patty Vernon Royce.
Visitation will be Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., Cresaptown.
Services will be conducted in the funeral home on Monday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Seth Wharton officiating. Friends will be received one hour prior to the service.
Internment will be in the Maryland State Veterans Cemetery at Rocky Gap. Military honors will be accorded by the local veterans organizations.
Pallbearers will be Robert L. Wharton, Tim Wharton, Tyler Wharton, Dustin Wharton, Gary Sindy and Tab Wharton. Honorary pallbearers will be John Sindy, Dick Sindy and Ronald Sindy.
Those wishing to honor Shirl’s memory may do so by making contributions to the House of Prayer in Frostburg. Arrangements may be made by seeing an attendant at the funeral home.