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Betty Hughart Higgins
September 23, 1934 ~ October 15, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
Betty Louise Hughart was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 23, 1934, to Otho William and Alice Mary Hughart. She was raised on a farm in southern Missouri, attended a one-room elementary school, was president of her high school graduating class in Houston, Missouri, and received her bachelor's degree from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield.
Her first job was with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, but she soon moved to Washington D.C. to work at the Department of State as a field recruiter of secretaries for the Foreign Service. There she met the love of her life, Peter Higgins. They were married several months later by Cardinal Jose Garibi y Rivera at Peter's first Foreign Service Officer posting in Guadalajara, Mexico. From there they continued what became a thirty-plus year odyssey of diplomatic life on five continents, always living in the local community (never in a government compound) and always using the local schools. Their further multi-year assignments included the American Embassies at Madrid, Spain; Lome, Togo; Ottawa, Canada; Kigali, Rwanda; and Singapore; as well as the American Consulates General at Barcelona, Spain; Auckland, New Zealand; and Melbourne, Australia.
They were blessed with three children, Carolyn Elizabeth and Sean Patrick (partner: Gina Dilicchio) who survive her as well as Mark Thomas (wife: Lisa Kadowaki) who passed away in 2006.
Among her many talents, Betty was a gourmet cook and took her diplomatic and social obligations seriously by becoming involved in each foreign country. In addition to serving as patron of several local American women's clubs, she also volunteered for several local charities including working with Mother Teresa at a home for the poor in Singapore. Retiring in Oxnard in 1989, Betty enjoyed local travel, a good restaurant and mainly a quiet and peaceful existence in Southern California.
After 63 years of devoted and happy marriage, Betty passed away following a brief illness on October 15, 2023. Peter, Carolyn and Sean were at her side. She was a great lady who loved God, her family and her country. May she rest in peace.