Craigavon mum Carly Higgins (38) was ‘charismatic and caring’
Carly Higgins was just 38 year years old when she died on July 31 but her inspiration, love and compassion for others has left a wonderful legacy.
On November 29, 1982, Carly was born to parents Robert (Bob) and Diane Woods and was the eldest of five children, with siblings Samatha, Robert, Ryan and Laura.
She grew up in Portadown, attending the Birches Primary School and Killicomaine Junior High School.
Although she loved business studies and art and design, she did not enjoy school.
In her youth, living in the country, she loved animals and country life. She often described herself as a ‘tomboy’ growing up.
She often presented as a different person to different people, depending on where she was. For example outside school she was outgoing and fun but inside school she was quiet and shy. That was primarily because of the terrible bullying she suffered in school and that pain stayed with her throughout her life.
Despite her horrific time at school, she pushed the importance of education for her kids and was very supportive of her children and their future goals.
As she grew older she became more confident and outgoing, regularly supporting people who were bullied. Though she struggled academically, she excelled practically subjects such as business and art.
Carly was an outdoors girl and often spoke of how she enjoyed wearing a T-shirt in the snow. She spent most of her young life at her grandparents’ home and with her Uncle Ivan, fixing up cars. She particularly enjoyed spending time in the country near her home between Armagh and Portadown.
Carly was not an idle girl and started her first job aged ten, ironing bin bags full of clothes daily. She also baby sat for many children - up until she was aged 16 . She was happy as she loved children and was earning her own money and feeling helpful.
Her first official job was at Avondale foods making sandwiches. She didn’t like factory life. She was 17 and living in a flat in Lurgan with her then boyfriend. After a year she moved back to live with her mum and dad in Armagh.
She went to work in Avron Foods in Portadown and there she met her future husband Joseph Higgins.
The first time they met, in 2001, a row of cardboard boxes, stacked high against the wall, were about to fall on her. Joseph reached his arm out and prevented the boxes from falling. She had a big smile on her face and had a little giggle and ran back to her work station. Soon after Joseph approached Carly again and asked her out and the rest is history. The only time they have been apart is when she was hospitalised and the night before their wedding in 2011.
Carly was extremely family-oriented. Her first born Joshua was born in 2002 when Carly was aged 19. Brandon was born in 2006 and Ariana in 2009.
Her son Joshua, now 18, said: “She was and always will be an amazing mother who with my dad set us up to believe in ourselves and showed us love in all things she did.
“She taught us very valuable lessons and that life isn’t always easy. She thought the world of her kids, speaking about us and my dad anytime she could.
“She was extremely generous and always wanted to treat us in a way that she hadn’t been. She loved us with every fibre of her being. We were lucky to have her in our lives.
“She was extremely funny and influenced our sense of humour. She let us be open with her no matter what it was and she was always there when we needed her.
Carly came from a mixed marriage but was raised with no religion. However, out of the five kids in her family, she was one of two who were baptised. Later in her life Carly became very religious, believing in Jesus and being very, very spiritual. Her faith helped her through dark times.
Carly grew up to be an open, bubbly, caring, thoughtful, helpful, charismatic, funny and engaging woman who had a lot of love in her heart. She would always take time to talk to and give time to those who needed it.
She loved life and colour, which could be seen through her sense of style and personality. Everyone who saw her knew it was Carly. Even through mental and physical illness, she had the most caring aura.
Carly loved her charity shops. Having lived in the Craigavon area for 20 years, Carly was well known in the community as someone lovable and unique. She loved shopping, caring for her animals, writing poetry, watching comedies and listening to pop music.
She always had aspirations and was striving towards setting up her own business. She wanted to travel the world but never left NI. She wanted to work with disadvantaged children but this wasn’t to be.
Her husband Joseph was her ‘everything’ and her kids were her ‘world’.
Craigavon housing estate getting £1.1m makeover Read full story here-
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