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Patrick A. Higgins, former director of human resources

March 12, 1924 – Dec. 15, 2016

Patrick A. Higgins, a retired human resources director, died Dec. 15 in Wells Hospice House at Beechwood Continuing Care, Getzville. He was 92.

A Toledo native, Mr. Higgins came to the Buffalo area with his family in 1939, attended Amherst High School and, thanks to a benefactor, William C. Baird, spent his senior year at Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1942.

He attended Williams College, where he played on the football team as a halfback.

Mr. Higgins interrupted his studies to enlist in the Marine Corps, during World War II, and earned the rank of staff sergeant. He served in the Pacific Theatre.

He graduated from college in 1947.

Mr. Higgins had signed a contract to play professional football with the Los Angeles Rams -- but, chose to come back to Buffalo instead.

Mr. Higgins worked at Buffalo Pipe and Foundry in the Town of Tonawanda, later Central Foundry.

He held various positions there, including personnel manager. He was transferred to the Alabama headquarters of the company in 1971, but soon returned to the Tonawanda operation as plant manager.

In 1976, he joined Buffalo Forge. He served as the company's director of human resources until retiring in the 1990s.

Mr. Higgins belonged to the Amherst Community Church, where he was an usher.

He was active for many years with the town Republican Committee in Amherst.

In the past, he was chairman of the American Foundrymen’s Society of Western New York and president of the Industrial Relations Association of Western New York.

He enjoyed golfing, swimming, reading, gardening and fishing.

His wife of 65 years, the former Gloria Moore, died in 2009.

Survivors include four daughters, Sandra Shuptrine, Sharon Brunner, Susan Zamer and Shelley Coppola; three sisters, Lois Niland, Margaret and Eileen; a brother, Arthur; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. March 25 in Amherst Community Church, 77 Washington Highway, Snyder.

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