NANCY A. HIGA

Posted On October 12th, 2017 -

NANCY A. HIGABorn in Torrance, California on November 25, 1932 to Harold and Marcella Anderson. Lived in Southwest Los Angeles where she attended Manchester Elementary, Brett Harte Junior High and Washington High Schools, graduating in 1950. In November of 1952 came down with polio mylitis which resulted in being in a respirator for approximately eight months. Moved to Polio Center in Los Amigos in February of 1953. With regular physical therapy was gradually taken off the respirator about May of 1953. Improved breathing skills to the point therapy could begin on her arms and legs. Went home in June and continued physical therapy at Orthopedic Hospital under the direction of Dr. Charles Lowman, the founder of the hospital, She then had surgery to repair damage to her hands. Started college at University of Southern California in February of 1954 to pursue a teaching career. She graduated in 1957 magna cum laude with a Batchelor of Science Degree in Education. Later received her Master of Science Degree in Education. Teaching career began at Manual Arts High School in 1957-1962 and then moving to Hawaii where she married Toshi (Warren) Higa in 1962 and worked at Radford High School from 1962-1968. During a leave of absence she received a second Masters Degree in Education. She was hired by University of Hawaii to teach at Leeward Community College in 1970, where she taught until 1993, retiring after serving 37-1/2 years in a stimulating and satisfying career in education. She began the 3rd part of her life as a retiree, dedicating her time to reading, having lunch with friends and just leading an unstructured life for the first time. She enjoyed good health and many activities, including UHCC Investors Hui, an investment club, where she served as vice president and assistant treasurer, serving on the Mayor's Committee for the Handicapped to attempt to improve access by the handicapped to buses. streets and buildings, and a member of the Hawaii Postpolio Network support group. In 1990 she began developing post polio syndrome but was able to continue to teach by using an Amigo electric cart. Her proudest moment was in 1989 when she received the coveted University of Hawaii Board of Regents Excellence in Teachlng Award after being recommended by colleagues and students at Leeward Community College. She enjoyed perfect health from 1993-2006 when she developed pneumonia which resulted in a stay at Queens Medical Center from May of 2006 through January of 2007. She spent the next three years at home with 24 hour care until her move in 2010 to Island Nursing Home until they closed the facility in September of 2017. Her positive outlook on life and that huge genuine smile will be missed by all who knew her.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran