Franklin Countys First News

Mary Boyd Higgins (1925-2019)

Mary Boyd Higgins

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Mary Boyd Higgins was born on 13 October 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Educated at Vassar College, she graduated in May 1946 with a degree in Theater (Dramatic Production). In January 1947 she moved to New York City and became involved in the theater scene, with a goal of becoming an actress. She also lived in Paris for a year, 1950-1951, and upon her return continued piano studies with a teacher in New York City. Her interest in Wilhelm Reich began when her piano teacher gave her one of Wilhelm Reich’s books to read.

After Reich’s death, his daughter Eva became the Trustee of his estate; however, after a year she stated she no longer wanted the job. For several weeks no one stepped forward, causing a perilous legal limbo for the fledgling Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust created in Reich’s Will. Ms. Higgins had never met Reich in person, though she had attended his 1956 trial in Portland, Maine. But because she deeply felt the injustice of how Reich was treated, she volunteered for the job as Trustee. One of Dr. Reich’s students, Dr. Raphael at first opposed this, thinking it was far too great a responsibility. But Higgins persisted as no one else offered, and eventually it was decided she should try it. In later years she said, “I had no idea how huge a task I was getting into. It’s so much more than a full-time job.” After meeting with Eva Reich, who legally transferred the role, Higgins became Trustee in March 1959—a job she continued to execute faithfully for almost 60 years. She also said in later years, “You can see how bad things were at that point, when no one who knew Reich wanted or was willing to take this job. So that in the end it was taken up by a total stranger.” Over the sixty years since becoming Trustee, Mary Higgins worked long and hard to learn copyright law, museum design, and a hundred other areas of expertise.
At the beginning of the New Year Mary Boyd Higgins suffered a stroke and died peacefully a few days later in the company of a dear friend on 8 January 2019. This unique and remarkable woman will be greatly missed.

There will be no funeral service and at Mary’s request her ashes will be placed Orgonon in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, Orgonon, PO Box 687, Rangeley, ME 04970.

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2 Responses »

  1. She was a wonderful lady and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. R.I.P.

  2. She was a very nice lady. Got to know her working summer's at the museum. RIP Miss Higgins.