Diana Louise (Gray) Higgins, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Sept. 25 while vacationing at the family cottage near Bar Harbor, Maine. Diana was surrounded by her loving family when she left this world.

Diana was born on July 30, 1949 in Bethesda, Md. to the late Donald and Louise Gray. She was a graduate of McLean High School in McLean, Va. and later graduated from Purdue University where she met her loving husband, Richard P. Higgins, of 46 years.

Diana and Richard moved to Vermont in 1972 for what was supposed to be a temporary work assignment. They grew to love Vermont and never left. They raised four children in Essex where Diana was the ultimate hockey mom for nearly 40 years. Diana loved interior design and worked in that field until she found her true calling in medicine. At age 44, while pregnant and caring for her 90-year-old grandmother, she went to Champlain College to become a respiratory therapist. She never turned down a challenge and was fierce beyond compare. She worked at the University of Vermont Medical Center for over 20 years until retiring in 2015. During her short retirement, Diana spent more time with her wonderful grandchildren and embarked on many adventures such as boating, European travels, winters in Florida and golf lessons. She was very active in the First Congregational Church of Essex Jct. In 2013, Diana and Richard moved to Grand Isle, living by the lake with their lab, Sherman, and enjoying life to its fullest. Diana will be remembered for her warm smile and the kindness and love she gave to all who knew her.

Diana is survived by her husband, Richard P. Higgins, of Grand Isle; her children Shane Higgins of New York, N.Y., Chad Higgins and wife, Nicole, of Melrose, Mass.; Mindy Bero and husband, Pete, of Essex; and Zach Higgins of Nashville, Tenn.; by her grandchildren Colby, McKenzie, Parker and Paige; her sister, Catherine Gray, and wife, Debra Smalley, of Los Angeles, Calif.; by her sisters in-law Mariele (Dick) Forte of South Natick, Mass., Nelle (Mike) Fine of Dover, Mass., Susie (Craig) Conrad of South Natick, Mass.; and by many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Visiting hours were held Sunday, Sept. 30 at A.W. Rich Funeral Home in Essex. A memorial service was held at the First Congregational Church in Essex Jct. on Monday, Oct. 1, followed by a celebration of her life. Diana was a volunteer at a summer asthma camp for children. Memorial contributions can be made in Diana’s memory to the American Lung Association (www.lung.org and go to the ‘Donate’ tab and click on ‘Memorial Gift’.)

The family also invites you to share your memories by visiting www.awrfh.com.