Marianne (Foley) Higgins, 78, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at her winter home in Venice, Florida. She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, C. Daniel Higgins, a lawyer for many years in Stroudsburg.
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Marianne was an energetic and kind person who loved animals, golf, bridge, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Just last year, she fulfilled a longtime wish by visiting Kenya and Tanzania with all of her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren.
Over a 50-year span, Marianne walked her dogs nearly every day — often for several miles. She enjoyed walking on Mount Nebo, around Hidden Lake, or on trails in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. She and Dan owned more than 10 much-loved dogs over that period. Marianne kept a list of their names in her desk: Pokey, Daisy, Skipper, Ginger, Sammy, Lucy, Barkley, Bella, Shadow, Molly, Katie, and Coco. At times she also kept ducks and chickens, each of which had a name, along with cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. She was never able to persuade her husband of the merits of having a goat.
Marianne Foley was born in 1940 in Scranton, the fourth child of Thomas J. Foley II and Mary (McCann) Foley. She graduated from Marywood Seminary and Marywood College in Scranton, where she excelled on her high school and college field hockey and basketball teams. She also edited the Marywood College newspaper. After graduation, she worked as an elementary school teacher in Newark, New Jersey, and met Dan in 1961. They enjoyed a whirlwind courtship in New York City during the summer of 1962, and married at the end of that year. She continued to teach school even after giving birth to her first child, Mary Ellen, in 1963, an unusual decision at that time. A second child, Erin Kathleen, was born in 1966. Her third child, C. Daniel Higgins Jr., was born in 1967, while Dan was taking his final law school exam.
Upon Dan's graduation from night school at Georgetown Law School, the family moved to the Poconos, first to East Stroudsburg near the J.M. Hill Elementary School. A fourth child, Robert Timothy, was born at Pocono Hospital in 1968. During the early 1970s, Marianne worked as a substitute teacher at Stroudsburg High School, and also as a title searcher at the Monroe County Courthouse. In 1973, the family moved to their beloved home on a stream in Shawnee-on-Delaware, which remained her home until the time of her death.
In 1980, Marianne and her friend Margaret Kelsey earned their real estate licenses and opened a Stroudsburg real estate office together. Eventually, Park Avenue Realtors grew to employ more than 10 agents before Marianne retired in 2006. Marianne liked meeting new people and she had a good head for business — so that real estate suited her well. She also greatly enjoyed the companionship of the other real estate agents who worked with her and became her close friends.
She tried to find her way to the golf course almost every day during the season. For more than 30 years, she played golf in a weekly women's league that met at Glenbrook Country Club in Stroud Township. Also, from the late 1960s through the 1980s, Marianne and Dan played tennis and golf at Shawnee Country Club, and also enjoyed countless rounds of golf at Great Bear Country Club after it opened in 1995. Marianne recorded hole-in-ones at both Shawnee Country Club and Great Bear.
Marianne had remarkable energy and drive: she frequently played 18 holes of golf before arriving at her real estate office for many hours of work. However, she always managed to balance work with fun and family life. She was steadfast in her belief that people should spend their money on social experiences and events rather than possessions. Over 50 years, she and Dan visited many states and countries, often in the company of friends and family.
After retiring, Marianne took up competitive bridge and played in two leagues: the West End Duplicate Bridge Club and the Pocono Bridge Club. Beginning in the early 2000s, she and Dan spent their winters at their small house near the Waterford Golf Club in Venice, Florida. Once again, their lives were packed with golfing, walking their dogs, playing bridge, and enjoying the company of their friends.
She is survived by two daughters, Mary Ellen Higgins of Shawnee-on-Delaware and Erin Kathleen Higgins and son-in-law, Douglas Rosner, of Arlington, Massachusetts; two sons, Cyril Daniel Higgins Jr. and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, of Stroud Township and Robert Timothy Higgins and daughter-in-law, Michelle, of Chester Springs. She also leaves seven grandchildren: Harry Wills Rosner, Katherine Higgins Rosner, Dennis Paul Rosner, Olivia Crawford Higgins, Sean Patrick Higgins, Brendan Michael Higgins, and Evan Patrick Higgins.
Also surviving are three brothers: Thomas J. Foley Jr. of Dunmore, J. Peter Foley of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and John Foley of Throop. She was predeceased by her sister, Catherine Foley and her youngest brother, J. Brian Foley Sr. She also is survived by many beloved siblings-in-law, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and great nephews.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Joseph J. Pula Funeral Home, 23 N. Ninth St., Stroudsburg. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in East Stroudsburg.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in honor of Marianne Higgins be noted as such and sent to Pocono Area Transitional Housing (PATH), 7 N. Ninth St., Stroudsburg, PA 18360, which offers transitional housing and support to local homeless families