Cover photo for Margaret L.  Higgins's Obituary
Margaret L.  Higgins Profile Photo

Margaret L. Higgins

d. February 6, 2013

Margaret L Higgins (Sokolik), 90 of La Crosse passed away Wednesday Feb 6 at Lakeview Health Center in West Salem.    She was born November 10, 1922 in La Crosse to Irish parents Charles and Alice (Dayton) Higgins.  Bridget Reilly was her paternal grandmother; Rose O`Shea was her maternal great-grandmother.  She graduated from Aquinas High School in 1939 and had nine children, Charles, Linda, Brian, Maureen, Kevin, Jerry, Cindy, Margi and Chuck.


Margi was a true artistic prodigy with an incredibly varied career.  Besides raising her children she worked at the Autolite, became one of La Crosse`s first meter maids and worked for many years as a supervisor at the Garment Company.  During that time she encouraged and helped her children Linda and Charles on their singing and recording careers.


On March 1, 1970 she started on a new venture that would change her life.  She took advantage of her artistic talents to start a window painting company.  She painted amazing pictures on store, restaurant and tavern windows.    She was quite in demand during Oktoberfest painting various German scenes, dancers etc on the windows.  In 1973 she published a wonderful children`s story and coloring book called “Barney The Mischievous Elf”.  It was so popular that Menards paid her to paint the entire book on their windows and advertised it in four states.


She has always promoted her Irish heritage.  One year she painted 63 leprechauns and placed or hung them up by different customer places in the wee hours of St Patrick`s Day.   Another time she and her youngest son Chuck changed all the street names to Irish names from Copeland Ave down to south 3rd St.


Then she started a side line where she would create large, custom birthday cards,

up to 30 feet long!  They included the person`s name, hobbies, funny stories and more.  They were truly memorable!  About this time the “Daughters of Erin” Irish club she founded was taking more and more of her time, so she eagerly joined with the La Crosse Shamrock Club and was eventually selected as Miss Irish Rose.


The next phase of her career was when she combined her love of making costumes with her love of performing.  She started her own costume shop and “Musical Zanygrams”  a singing telegram service.  Performing, painting and the costume shop kept her busy until the early 90s.  She spent her retirement at home with her much beloved garden.


She is survived by all nine of her children and numerous grandchildren many who have gone on to embrace their own artistic careers.  She will be sorely missed and the whole family is grateful for the examples of energy, life, laughter and the “Can-do” attitude she gave us.


Funeral services will be 10:15 AM on Tuesday at St James the Less Catholic Church, 1032 Caledonia St. Father Lawrence Berger will officiate.  Interment will be held at French Island Cemetery, La Crosse. A visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1007 Caledonia St, and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Tuesday at the church.  Online condolences may be sent to and at

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