We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Inc
Elsie was born to William Arnold and Elsie Viola Artist on December 5, 1931, in Philadelphia, PA. She was their only child. Elsie went to school in Philadelphia and last attended Simon Gratz High School.
During her youth Elsie would often spend time with her relatives in Maryland. This is where she met the love of her life William Lee Higgins (Bill). On May 21, 1949, Elsie and Bill were united in holy matrimony in Elkton, Maryland. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Philadelphia where they would spend 53 loving years together. From their union they were blessed with five sons: William, Bruce, Terry, Michael, and Keith.
In 1956, Elsie and Bill purchased a home at 5506 Devon Street in Philadelphia. Elsie loved her home and would spend the next 66 years of life there being a wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker. Her door was always open. Elsie took pride in decorating her home and always had a project for Bill and her sons to complete. She loved plants, flowers, and gardening. Elsie had plants and flowers in almost every room of her home and in her front and back yards. She knew the names of every plant she grew. Elsie was a very social person and loved to entertain family and friends in her home. During holidays she would always cook a big meal and it did not matter if you were invited or not, all were welcome. Elsie hosted the first “Dozens of Cousins” Higgins family reunion at her home. She loved taking pictures and displaying then in her home or in her many photo albums. Most of the time she carried a camera in her purse to capture special moments.
Elsie was a faithful member of New Gethsemane Baptist Church. She served as the secretary of the church’s Busy Bee Organization for many years until she was physically unable to attend church. Elsie also loved to boast about working outside the home, two days each year on election day. She held the position of Election Clerk for over 50 years and was re-elected repeatedly.
Elsie’s other loves were going to plays (especially in New York), musical concerts (she loved Sammie Davis Jr.) and going shopping. You would often find her at home, reading a newspaper or a magazine, doing crossword puzzles, word search games or talking on the phone to family and friends. Elsie believed the games kept her mind sharp and she played daily.
Lastly, Elsie will be remembered fondly by the way she signed her cards and letters as “The Young One”
Elsie passed peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, September 17, 2022 and lived a long life. Elsie was preceded in death by her husband Bill, Sons William (Junie) and Bruce (Tiny), and Granddaughter Shekeya. She leaves to mourn: three sons, Terry (wife Delores), Michael (wife Denise) and Keith (wife Bernadette); seven grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of cousins, friends and neighbors.