Joan Margaret Higgins passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, March 16, surrounded by her loved ones.
She was born in Manhattan on March 31, 1937 to Anthony G. and Helen (McNicholas) Checola and grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. She attended Bishop MacDonald High School and Fordham University, where she met the love of her life, Robert ("Bob") Higgins. She graduated from Fordham in 1958 and was a New York City public school teacher at PS1 and PS122 in Queens. She stopped teaching when her first child was born and began her second "career", the one she enjoyed the most, being a mother. She and Bob settled in East Northport, NY in 1968 with their then two children and built life-long friendships with their beloved neighbors. Joan spent every day in the summer at Crab Meadow & Asharoken Beaches with her girlfriends while their children took swim lessons. She has many fond memories with her friends, swapping recipes, crafts and watching the tide roll out.
She is remembered for her sarcastic, quick-wit sense of humor, her ability to cut up the dance floor at every wedding, and singing show tunes in the car. Joan loved a good bargain and shopping all the sales, double coupon days, etc. She loved sleeping late, especially on rainy days. She loved movie musicals and the theater, and Lifetime movies, no matter how many times she had seen them before. She enjoyed shrimp scampi and French onion soup. She loved to travel with family, taking many cruise vacations to the Caribbean with her family and friends. She was her grandchildren's biggest fan, shamelessly sharing their photos and accomplishments to the next unassuming person.
She is predeceased by her parents and her beloved brother and his wife, Robert ("Chic") and Kathy Checola. She will be lovingly missed by her husband of 60 happy years, Bob; her children Laura (Bill Wilcox), Brian, Jeanine Lombardi (Paul), grandchildren Brian and Tyler Lombardi, her sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
During these challenging times for the well-being of our neighbors, the family is not able to host open calling hours and services are limited to immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider saving money for when things turn around. When things hopefully resume, book a vacation, buy tickets to the theater, or simply go to your favorite store and buy something for yourself, on sale. Think of Joan when you do.