Virgil “Buck” Higgins, age 95, passed away November 10, 2020 at Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, Montana.
Virgil was born April 28, 1925 in Ismay, Montana, the 10th of 13 children, to John and Jessie (Mason) Higgins. As a young man, Buck worked as a sheepherder for the Hopkins Ranch following in the footsteps of two of his older brothers. He attended school in Ismay, Montana. While attending high school, he worked for George Askin Well Drilling. Before he graduated high school, he felt the call to join two older brothers in the fight against Hitler in WWII. On August 5, 1943, he heeded that call and joined the United States Air Force, in which he became a tail gunner on a B017 Flying Fortress. He flew 33 missions over Continental Europe before he was honorably discharged October 3, 1945.
On his return home, he went back to work for George Askins Well Drilling. Later, he went to work for the Milwaukee Railroad, where he worked until he retired.
On January 26, 1946 he married Eunice Lillian Kreager with whom many letters were exchanged while he was in Europe. To this union four children were born: Raymond Virgil, Loren Laverne, Clayton Roy and Denise Inez.
Virgil loved flying and owned two airplanes. He and Eunice went to many air shows. He also enjoyed working in his shop rebuilding tractors and pickups. Virgil always had a hobby farm where he milked cows and raised bum calves. He also raised his own bacon and eggs. Virgil loved a good fresh breakfast.
Virgil was an avid reader and loved music. He was known for whistling or singing everywhere he went. The easiest way to find him was to follow the sound of his voice. One of his favorite songs, “It’s Hard to Be Humble”, could be heard daily.
Virgil loved his family. He is survived by his son Loren Higgins, Helen, MT; daughter Denise (Dan) Pierce, Miles City, MT; six grandchildren: Christina Beach, Coree Walker, Dane Higgins, Jessica Lynch, Billie Sozanski and Mariah Hicks; fourteen great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, 12 brothers and sisters; his wives Eunice and Ida; two sons and three grandchildren.
We will be having a military funeral, April 30, 2021.