Published in the February 10, 2017 edition

Higgins-obit-webSTONEHAM — John F. “Jack” Higgins Sr. of Stoneham passed away at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital on Wednesday, February 1. He was 89 years of age.

Jack was born in Somerville on May 18, 1927 to the late Nathan and Frances (Gabrielle) Higgins. He was raised in Somerville, East Boston and Dorchester and joined the Merchant Marine right out of high school. Mr. Higgins went through the US Maritime Service Training Station in Brooklyn, NY, graduating in 1944.

Jack served as a Chief Petty Boatswain Officer in the Merchant Marine for 45 years and was a veteran who endured the dangers in the waters of World War II, the Vietnam and Korean wars. When he was not called up to service by the United States of America he worked for City Service Shipping Company located in New York. Mr. Higgins truly loved his job, traveled the world and set foot on every continent across the globe.

He was a lifetime member of the SIU (Seafarers International Union) and in his later years a member of the Teamsters Union.

After his retirement Jack worked at Lechmere in Cambridge and at Park, Shuttle & Fly at Logan Airport.

He enjoyed going to breakfast with his friends at Friendly’s Restaurant in Stoneham and at Bickford’s Restaurant. But most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family in Kennebunk, Maine and in the backyard at his daughter’s home in Melrose.

Jack was the beloved husband of 62 years to the late Katherine E. “Kaye” (O’Brien) Higgins. He was the loving father of John F. Higgins Jr. and his wife Kathleen of Bristol, England, Janet Restivo and her husband Jack of Melrose, Kimberly Higgins of Aspen, Colorado and the late Katherine E. “Kate” Henretta. He was the devoted grandfather of Andrew Henretta and his wife Kelly, Matthew Henretta, John Restivo and his wife Kristen, Michael Restivo, Jessamine Restivo, McNeil Fiske III, Tattinger Fiske, Parker Fiske and Kimberly Higgins. He was the great grandfather of Jack and Kayla Restivo. He was the brother of Joan Krupa and the late Frances Rose, Alma O’Keefe & Donald Higgins. Also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

The funeral was from the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose on Tuesday, February 7, at 8:45 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church, 71 Central St., Stoneham at 10 a.m.

Burial at Lindenwood Cemetery in Stoneham.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jack’s name to The Jimmy Fund, Attention Multiple Myeloma Research, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445-7226 or @ To send a message of condolence please visit