Donald ‘Dean’ Higgins Jr., 57, died March 30, 2021 at his home. Services were held April 3 at the Clarion Church of Christ.
Dean was born July 1, 1963. He attended elementary school in Lake City and Hawarden, junior high in Lake City, and graduated from Pocahontas High School in 1981. Dean was a running back and defensive back for the high school football team. After high school Dean was assigned to military intelligence in the U.S. Army from 1982-1986. He went to basic training in Fort Dix, NJ, AIT at Fort Devens, MA, and was stationed at Fort Hood, TX and Wurzburg, Germany.
After being discharged Dean moved to the Twin Cities and went through the carpenter journeyman school. He did carpenter work for about three years in the cities before moving back to Pocahontas where he was a machinist for three years. Dean moved to Rockwell City and worked at Opportunity Living in Lake City as a therapeutic carpenter and later commuted to Johnston while working at Children’s Habilitation Center as a rehabilitation technology supplier. Dean started a wheelchair rehab program, doing wheelchair evaluations and custom building to meet the needs of children and adults for Excel Medical. He later started a rehab wheelchair program for Hanger Orthotics and Prosthetics and for the five largest Mercy Medical Centers in Iowa and for CarePro in Cedar Rapids. Dean also worked for Numotion and for Total Respiratory and Rehab. He operated a storefront in Belmond for a number of years.
In 2005 Dean spent two weeks in Zimbabwe, Africa and fit 146 wheelchairs at an orphanage where children were in desperate need of mobility. Dean had a huge compassion for helping people, especially those who cannot help themselves. Dean had been “The Wheelchair Guy” since 1989.
Dean met the love of his life in 2013 and married Athena on Dec. 31, 2013. He was very proud of the accomplishments of his three sons.
Dean had a passion for walleye fishing. He fished professional walleye tournaments across the country for ten years. Dean developed, owned, organized and emceed each event for Iowa Organization of Walleye Anglers (IOWA). He loved the outdoors – kayaking, boating, shooting, campfires, and of course riding the Harley with Athena. Dean was a member of the Clarion Church of Christ and was baptized in 2013.
He was preceded in death by his mother Judy Kay Higgins.
Dean is survived by his wife Athena; sons Anthony Higgins, Zachary Higgins and Keaton Higgins; father Donald Higgins, Sr. (Karen); and siblings Jolene (Jim) Brown and Kurt Higgins.