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Michael John Higgins, 46, of Lincolnshire, IL passed away Monday, November 21, 2022. He was born May 27, 1976 in Des Plaines, IL and was the youngest of four children born from the blessed marriage of Robert and Marianne nee: Rose Higgins.
Michael was a beloved son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, teammate and friend to many. His Golden Retriever, Chance, was always at his side and such a joy in his life. We are grateful that Michael’s favorite pastime was sharing time with family because we are left with so many precious memories. He had a wicked sense of humor and always kept us laughing. He especially cherished his nieces, nephews and great nephews whom he loved dearly and created a special connection with each one. Michael had a passion for travel and loved to discover new places to hike, scuba dive, golf, and downhill ski. He enjoyed Chicago Sports, especially Cubs games and was always up for a good concert. On a personal level, if you were lucky enough to meet Michael, you never forgot his kind and gentle soul. It was always important for him to make the world a better place, which he truly tried to do. We would often hear stories from others about how he impacted their lives in remarkable ways. He was just one of those people you did not forget after you met him.
Michael was baptized Catholic and attended St. Gilbert Grade School. He graduated from Grayslake High School in 1994. Michael earned two bachelor's degrees, one in Fire Science (CLC/SIU) and a second in Safety (ISU). He received a master's degree from DePaul University in International Entrepreneurship.
Michael was a loyal 26-year member of the Grayslake Fire Department and proudly moved up to earn Lieutenant and Battalion Chief by the end of his career. Michael cared deeply about the community he served and had a passion for innovation and new technology to improve rescue outcomes. He served many important roles in Lake County including; Liaison to Advocate Condell Hospital, Lake County Special Response Team, Lake County Dive Rescue Team, Medical Officer, E.M.S. Chief, Fire Department Incident Safety Officer, Fire Prevention Officer, Department Infection Control Officer, St. Baldricks Coordinator and assisted with administering the COVID vaccine through the Lake County Health Department. Throughout his service he developed many dear friendships with those he worked with, especially his Grayslake Fire Department family.
Michael’s legacy will continue to live on in the many lives he saved as a firefighter/paramedic and in the hearts of all whose lives he touched. His life will always be a reminder to us of how to live boldly, do good humbly, and love deeply. Though we mourn him in this life, we find comfort in the Lord’s promise of life everlasting and the hope of being together again in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Michael is survived by his loving parents, Robert Sr. and Marianne, Nee; Rose Higgins, his three siblings; Robert Jr. (Kim) Higgins of Lake Villa, IL, Christine (Andrew) Konopacki of Minnesota, and Marianne (Stephen) McDermott of Grayslake, IL, nieces and nephews; Zackery Higgins, Payton Higgins, Anastasia (Sam) Gagliardi, Katya Konopacki, Alek Konopacki, Andre Konopacki, Oliver Flagg, Aidan McDermott, Kenna McDermott, and Theodore McDermott. Two great nephews, Andrew and Lawrence Gagliardi, as well as many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. Preceded in death by his very faithful and loving companion Chance.
A special thank you to the Grayslake Fire Department and Advocate Condell Hospital for their loving care.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Friday, December 2, 2022 at St Gilbert Catholic Church, 301 E. Belvidere Rd. Grayslake, IL 60030, Fire Dept Walkthrough 7:00 P.M.
Funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be held 10:00 A.M. Saturday, December 3, 2022 at St. Gilbert Catholic Church 301 E. Belvidere Rd. Grayslake, IL 60030, interment to follow for family and friends at St. Mary's Fremont Center Catholic Cemetery. Funeral mass will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/@stgilbertlive2337 . For additional information please contact Symonds Funeral Home at 847-543-1080.
In lieu of flowers the family has set up a memorial fund for donations to be put toward lifesaving equipment in Michael’s honor. See GoFundMe link below.