Sally Rebecca Heinel Higgins died peacefully at home on Dec. 31, 2020. Surrounded by her daughters, she left this world due to natural causes after a long and happy life.
Sally was born on April 15, 1926, in New Castle and grew up in the New Castle area. Valedictorian of her class at William Penn High School (1944), she went on to attend the University of Delaware. Working her way through college, Sally fully embraced the university life—studying, socializing, and becoming a member of the cheerleading squad. She majored in history and graduated in 1948. She then began a life-long career in education. She taught and then went into guidance counseling—initially in Georgetown and then in both Laurel and Seaford high schools.
In 1949, Sally met George Higgins, a Seaford boy and World War II veteran. They married a year later at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. George was the love of Sally’s life, and kept her laughing for 31 years. Sadly, she lost George to cancer in 1982. They had four children-one son and three daughters. Tragically, George and Sally lost their son, Clark, at the age of three due to a sudden illness.
In the mid-1960s, Sally decided to pursue a master’s degree in education. For close to five years, she traveled from Seaford to her beloved University of Delaware in Newark in pursuit of her degree—while working full-time, running a household, and raising three daughters. She received her degree in 1971 and soon thereafter was asked to serve on the University of Delaware’s Board of Trustees. Sally was one of the first women to serve on the board and continued that commitment for the next four decades—serving as Trustee Emeritus up until her death. One of the accomplishments of which Sally was most proud was the instrumental role she played in bringing University of Delaware courses to Sussex County, with the establishment of a Georgetown campus.
Over the course of her lifetime, Sally also served in numerous leadership positions and gave countless volunteer hours to many organizations. Some of those that were near and dear to her heart were: Soroptimist International of Seaford; American Association of University Women (AAUW); Nanticoke Memorial Hospital; Seaford Historical Society; Seaford School Board Association (serving as president for two terms); and St. John’s United Methodist Church.
However, the roles she cherished above all others were that of Mom and Grammy. She was full of love, full of fun, and served as a wonderful role model for her daughters and grandchildren. Sally loved her family, a glass of wine at 5:00, her Blue Hens, a good game of bridge, and watching the ocean from a beachfront balcony at Rehoboth every summer.
Sally is survived by her daughters: Georgann (Gino) Dellarocco of Herndon, Va.; Carol (Don) Miller of Seaford; and Judy (Chris) Grover of Afton, Va. Sally left behind six grandchildren who adored her: Ian (Leigh Ann) Hamilton, Laura Hamilton, Clark Grover, Garrett Grover, Scott Grover, and Annie Grover. Sally’s two great-grandchildren are Allie and Brock Hamilton.
A graveside service was held on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Seaford. Once the coronavirus is under control, the family will schedule a memorial service to be held at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Seaford. Hopefully, the service can be held sometime this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John’s United Methodist Church, 300 N. Pine Street, Seaford, Delaware 19973, or to Soroptimist International of Seaford, Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 826, Seaford, Delaware 19973.
To leave a condolence visit www.cranstonfuneralhome.com.