Cover photo for Andrea Higgins's Obituary
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1949 Andrea 2023

Andrea Higgins

August 12, 1949 — December 15, 2023

Andrea "Andy" Higgins of White Bear Lake, MN passed away on Friday, December 15, 2023 at the age of 74. She was born on August 12, 1949 to Otto and Betty Grelk in Mason City, IA.

She married her husband, Gregg Higgins, on September 20, 1972 and together had two daughters, Ashlee and Amanda. Grandchildren, Eligh "EJ" and Elliot "Ottie", came later on and in addition to the titles of wife and mom, "Grandy" was added to the list. Her education included attending North Iowa Area Community College, Iowa State University and Michigan Technological University. She served in the United States Air Force from 1976 to 1982, achieving the rank of Captain. She was stationed in Mississippi, California, and Nebraska. Her and Gregg settled down in Minnesota after his retirement from the USAF and White Bear Lake became home from then on.

Her interests and hobbies were abundant, and only grew as she got older. So did her love of learning and desire to make an impact. An advocate for social justice and climate issues, she participated in classes and webinars, attended protests, and contacted her elected officials. Her quiet demeanor had a loud presence, and it was infectious. She found her people and she had various networks of friends, most of which turned into lifelong relationships. It was these friendships, and family, that brought her the greatest joy and she infused her life with the passions, activities, and interests of those she loved: A book recommendation given to her would be found on her shelf the following week, a trip destination idea would soon become a shared bucketlist dream (some of those dreams did in fact, turn into reality - 26 states and 15 countries to be specific), and a schedule of EJ and Ottie's hockey and baseball games were posted on her wall - in the event she couldn't attend, an immediate recap of the game was required.

She was a "dog person" and had many canine companions throughout her life. She viewed her daughter's dogs, Crockett and Yoda, as an extension to her grandchildren, and appropriately referred to them as such. Always up for a board game, however, it came with the condition that the rules were followed explicitly (no exceptions for children or novices!). In similar form and fashion, everything - and there were a LOT of things - had a label and a place. A comment made in passing would be thoroughly researched and a prompt delivery of information, resources, and suggestions would be forthcoming. She was prepared for everything.

Forever a lover of the arts and literature, her accomplishments included all kinds of artsy pursuits: She took up acrylic painting, encaustic, alcohol ink, pine needle basket, rope baskets, and the everyday doodling. She practiced tai chi, tai chi fan, and tai chi cane. She enjoyed attending local community theatre productions, off-Broadway performances, and the occasional concert. The list goes on, and we're not even talking about how thick her book log was! Found with a book always in hand, you could anticipate an enthusiastic conversation about what she was reading.

She lived big, boldly, and unapologetically Andy.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Betty and Otto Grelk; and husband, Gregory L. Higgins. She is survived by her daughters, Ashlee (Ben) Loch and Amanda (Pete) Theis, her two grandchildren, Eligh and Elliot Loch, and sister Janice Olson.

In her honor, the public is invited to Andy's Charitable Art Show Gala (celebration of life):

Friday, January 5, 2024

Mueller Memorial Funeral Home

4738 Bald Eagle Ave

White Bear Lake, MN 55110



Pieces of Andy's artwork will be displayed, and many items will be for sale with proceeds going to White Bear Center for the Arts, Planned Parenthood, or Freedom From Religion Foundation. In lieu of flowers, please consider a personal donation to one of the aforementioned non-profits.

Please come at any time. Light appetizers will be served and short remarks by family will be made at 4pm.

A private burial service will take place at Ft Snelling Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Andrea Higgins, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Andrea Higgins, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:


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