Close this search box.

Viola C Higgins 1943-2023

On Friday, November 3, 2023, the Heavens opened, and the Lord offered Viola C Higgins (Barges) the deal of a lifetime

Viola C Higgins
Viola C Higgins

The Lord proclaimed, “You know, the best deals are in Heaven, and it is open for believers like you.” 

Viola replied, “I have been waiting for this moment all of my life. What about my family? I want to be with them too.”   

 The Lord stated, “You have given them all that you can, and your family has received. You can continue to look out for them from here. I will renew your body forever, and through me, you will be able to breathe and sing with ease.  You can walk, skip, and leap through these well-lit, never-ending aisles as you please.”

With a skeptical brow and slight twinkle in her hazel eyes,Viola paused, “Hmm. Will there be a cafe in Heaven?”

“A warm caramel macchiato or a cold Coke awaits at my table. Come on along. Your husband, Larry, your brother, Thomas and the rest of your kin will be there too.”

 Viola smiled and hesitated feeling her children’s grip around her hands. “Girls. Kids. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

With reluctant tears, “Yes. You should take it. We know and feel the love you have poured into us.  Thank you for it all. We love you. Here are your shoes.”

One last time, her children helped Viola into her shoes.  Mom said, “I love you too. Always and forever. And, you can call on me any time and we can talk for a little while.”  With new strength in her legs, and with confidence and delight, Viola strolled away with the Lord.

– – – – – – –

Viola C Higgins (Barges) quietly passed away surrounded by family on Friday, November 3, 2023 and was laid to rest on a beautiful, fall afternoon during a private family service on Tuesday, November 7th.  Her husband, Larry E. Higgins, passed away the previous year on October 29, 2022. 

Viola (Vi, Vee-Vi-Vo) was born on November 19, 1943. She was raised in Mercersburg, PA the youngest of seven children of Christ George Barges and Sarah Catherine Bryan. 

After high school, she met her future husband and settled into a quiet, little yellow home up on a hill overlooking the Tuscarora mountain range in Saint Thomas, PA where she would love, nurture and counsel her three daughters.  

Viola worked as a seamstress at J. Schoeneman-Stanley, a local clothing factory in Chambersburg, PA.  She left the factory to raise her daughters. 

Viola was a Girl Scout troop mom, girl’s softball mom/fan, and fun-maker (shopping excursions, make believe, crafting, backyard adventures, finger jello at Cowans Gap, and pan fried chicken picnics in Gettysburg). 

When the girls started high school, she worked at Shoney’s Restaurant in Chambersburg, PA, and later, she became one of the first employees of the Chambersburg Walmart. 

Mom was known for her authentic, fun-loving, hard working and kind nature; she made friends wherever she went and worked.  She took pride in her hustle and efficiency at work, and her smile and voice were a welcome beacon. 

She was committed to the education and well-being of her daughters and grandchildren.  She always smiled and said with pride and joy how much she loved caring for her three daughters; she loved watching Little Women as it captured how she felt about family and being a mother to her “little women.” 

Upon retirement, she spent more time being with family and her beloved dogs, watching game shows, Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons, the Food Network, HGTV, and Hallmark movies, going to the grandkid’s baseball games, soccer games, dance recitals and all their other events, going to church, sharing family suppers, riding in the white Dodge with Dad to meet friends and family for breakfast, frequenting Cracker Barrel, Kohls, Target and local cafes with the kids, playing lively card games with family, and enjoying “lucky money” times at the casino.

She was a person who honored God above all else and her family was the #1 priority.  

Her three daughters, Kristin, Bobbie, and Beckie, closely hold Mom’s warm and caring touch and understand the unique relationship that can exist between Moms and their children, and they feel blessed that their own children have come to know the love of their mother.  They treasure the childhood and young adult years crafted by their parents and will continue the legacy that she and her husband created and sustained for 55 years.

Her three son-in-laws smile when recalling the many laughs with Viola when cracking jokes.  She always saw them as family, and they appreciate her generous, welcoming, and warm nature.  Her fried ham, homemade soups, pan fried chicken, and slippery beef pot pie brought everyone eagerly around the table.

Her five grandchildren laugh when they remember Grandma telling them to eat all the new snacks she had just bought. And not only that, but would they get some for her too? They also remember how much their Grandma cared about them and would do anything for them as long as the Price is Right was over. They’ll also remember how much she lit up seeing any of them walk in the room to see her. They will remember the fond memories of days spent together at Gram and Pap’s house and will cherish those moments forever. 

Her two grandsons’ wives always smile and think about Grandma and her generosity. She was always willing to lend a hand, or even take a shopping trip together-either in person or on QVC!  

The littlest ones, the two great-grandchildren (and ones to come), will be told how much she loved them and thanked God for them. It is likely that they too will inherit the wit and humor passed down from their great grandparents. 

Viola loved gathering with family and friends around the table for coffee, baked goods, conversation, and often a game of cards.  Mom would love to know that we celebrated her life by bringing people together in this way. In her honor, the family invites friends, family, friends of family, colleagues, and others who knew Viola to share beverages, goodies and conversation and to celebrate Viola’s – Mom’s – Grandma’s life on Friday, November 24th, 1-3 p.m. (Mom’s favorite shopping day of the year) at Greencastle Church of God, 4480 Buchanan Trail W, Greencastle, PA 17225.  Please come and go as it suits your schedule.

We also hope that you will share how you knew Viola, share a statement/expression, memory, quote or story through this Google Form online here. (use the link or scan the QR code). 

If you have little known photographs of/with mom, bring them along.

Thank you in advance for being a part of Viola’s – Mom’s – Grandma’s life!  If you want to contact someone directly, and know their contact information, please call them or email them; otherwise, contact Beckie Higgins-Arey,  Cards and such can be mailed or sent directly to family or C/O (in care of) Beckie Higgins-Arey, 825 Mountain View Road, Waynesboro, Pa 17268.

With Love,

The Chilcote, Monninger, Monninger-Carbaugh and Higgins-Arey Family

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Viola C Higgins (Barges), please visit the floral store.

Arrangements were entrusted to Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home.



Earl L. Crawford, Jr. 1937-2024

Earl worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 30 years before going into business for himself at Crawford Tire from 1981 until 2019.

Dennis W. Flythe 1953-2024

Denny attended Greencastle Antrim High School and graduated from Delaware State University. He focused on providing for his family and creating a legacy.

Arnold W. Wagaman 1939-2024

Arnie was employed at Mack Truck as a quality control specialist until his retirement; a total of 39 years. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing and gardening.

Farm and Garden Penn State Extension

For the week of July 15, 2024 UPCOMING WEBINARS AND EVENTS: Penn State Extension is pleased to continue to provide quality education via a

Who We Are

The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.