Wesley J. Higgins, 66, Marathon, died at home on Thursday April 5, 2018.
Wes was born Aug. 24, 1951 to the late Edward and Emily (Snopl) Higgins in Antigo, WI. He was raised on a dairy farm near Antigo, WI. He attended Longfellow School, Pleasant View School and graduated from Antigo High School in 1969. While in high school he excelled in drafting and technical design. On Dec. 16, 1972 he married Kathleen Svoboda at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Phillips, WI. Wes and Kathy raised three children Brett, Travis and Jodie on a dairy farm outside of Merrill, WI. Wes and his brother Charlie started Higgins Construction in the late 70’s and built many dairy barns in the area. He later began his impressive career in the window industry at Wilke Windows in Antigo, WI. He moved to Wausau and joined the Engineering Department of Wausau Metals. He subsequently worked for a number of window manufacturers prior to branching out on his own in 1994 to found WJ Higgins and Associates, Inc. He grew the company from a one-man enterprise into a family business with Travis and Jodie. Over the years Wes became known internationally as an expert in the façade industry.
On October 4, 2003 Wes married Patricia Walbeck Jackson at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in the town of Stettin. Along with his wife, Patti, he built a beautiful farm outside of Marathon where he raised beef cattle, hogs and chickens and experimented with innovative farming methods like rotational grazing and no-till seeding. Wes was a steward of the land. Farming was his true passion and enjoyed having his children and grandchildren with him on the farm. He enjoyed spending his days outdoors and catching shows at the Guthrie Theater with various family and friends.
Wes was an extremely intelligent, creative, compassionate and caring man as anyone who met him knows. Wes will truly be missed by his family and friends. He touched so many lives in his short time on earth.
Survivors include his wife, Patti, Marathon; two sons, Brett (Jeannie), Merrill and Travis (Jennifer) Higgins, Weston; a daughter, Jodie (Marty) Rethaber, Merrill; a stepson, Nathan (Janelle) Jackson, Rothschild; a stepdaughter Jennifer (Jeffrey) Higgins, Pasadena, Maryland; grandchildren Kody, Tanner & Carla Higgins; Alexandra, Julia & Jacob Higgins; Nash Rethaber; step grandchildren, Grace & Tyler Jackson, Joy & Jackson Higgins; Four brothers, Warren (Brenda) Higgins, Alexandria, MN, Michael Higgins, Rothschild, Charles Higgins, Kiel, WI, Patrick (Elaine) Higgins, Antigo, and sister Margaret (John) Lund, Rhinelander; his first wife Kathleen Svoboda, Merrill; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Colleen Higgins.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday April 12, 2018 at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, 1008 N. 120th Ave., Wausau. Rev. Philip Bogen will officiate. Family and friends may call from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home 3400 Stewart Ave. Wausau and again from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church on Thursday.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Future Farmers of America (FFA) Programs in the Marathon, Merrill and D.C. Everest School Districts.