James Patrick Higgins, 60, passed away suddenly at Benefis in Great Falls on Jan. 3. James was known as “Pat,” “Patrick” or “Packy.” 

Pat started school at the one-room Blackfeet School. He graduated from Browning High School in 1978. Pat attended the early Blackfeet Community College when it was affiliated with Flathead Community College. He was taught accounting by his Aunt Patricia Mosley who taught accounting classes.

Pat went on to prepare Internal Revenue taxes during tax season, pay-rolls, and general accounting for various businesses. He was an orderly at Blackfeet Community Hospital and Blackfeet Care Center. Pat later went on to be a security guard at the hospital, a secretary at the Plains Indian Museum, and for the last 13 years he was employed at the Glacier Peaks Casino as an executive secretary. He planned on working at the casino until retirement.

Pat was a hard and conscientious worker. He never took vacation time. However, he did not hesitate to take a day off to take his mother to various appointments. Pat was of Blackfeet and Irish decent with some French Canadian thrown in. Pat was fluent in both the old and new dialect of the Blackfeet language. His great grandparents were Heavy Runners and Petrified Rock (second wife). Heavy Runner was not of the Baker Massacre. His Irish great grandparents were from Ross Common, Ireland, and grandparents were James Heavy Runner, Theresa Middle Rider Heavy Runner, Patrick Joseph Higgins, and Mary LaBreche Higgins. All preceded Pat in death.

Survivors include his mother, Violet, and father, Lawrence Joseph; aunts, Rose (Ken) of El Cajon, Calif., and Carra Higgins of Missoula; uncle Jess Heavy Runner; brothers, Lawrence Timothy and Christopher Higgins; sister, Felicia; adopted sister, Karla (Dennis) Fitzpatrick; nieces, Kimberly, Samantha, Michelle, Arbana and Rochelle Johnson, Christina (Isaac) and Kariann (Jeremiah); nephews, Matthew Medore Higgins, Kole (Tiffany), Edward, Dennis (Rachelle), John (Dinelle) and Brian (Jade) Fitzpatrick.

He is also preceded in death by aunts Eleanor Brock and Mildred Pepion; uncles Wilbur Heavy Runner and Donald Higgins; and nephew, Jace Connor Fitzpatrick.

Pat was a good man who loved the Lord, was non-materialistic and enjoyed helping others. A man with a unique sense of humor (no one was safe). Pat knew many people and had good close friends that he loved and knew for many years. He was the tie that bound the family together and enjoyed working on the Higgins family tree. We will miss our Pat and will love him forever!

Funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Four Winds Assembly of God Church. 

Condolences can be made to Pat’s memorial page at www.asperfh.com.