They are not going to make me eat their damn jello (overheard during his last stay at Grand River Hospital)
  • 74 years old
  • Born on June 30, 1943 in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.
  • Passed away on December 18, 2017 in Hamilton General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.

This memorial website was created to celebrate the life of our father, Bryon Higgs.  He was our first and finest teacher and we will greatly miss his steady, guiding presence in our lives.  We invite visitors to this site to leave a comment - we would love to hear about your memories of our Dad.    


Peacefully with his family at his side, Bryon Carl Higgs, 74, of Elmira, Ontario passed from this life into the next on December 18 at Hamilton General Hospital after a brief illness.

Bryon taught high school at Elmira District Secondary School for almost all of his career and was nominated as Distinguished Teacher of the year. Bryon was an accomplished musician who played piano, clarinet and saxophone and spent many happy years playing clarinet in the Waterloo Concert Band. Throughout his life Bryon thoroughly enjoyed gardening and became very accomplished in this area. In retirement Bryon took on the role of a financial advisor, tirelessly researching the markets and very successfully managing prosperous investment accounts for family members and friends.

Bryon is survived by Janet, his loving wife of 50 years, daughters Heather (Stephen) and Kelly (Blaise), son Chris (Vivian) and beloved granddaughters Maya and Elena. Bryon will be fondly remembered by many friends locally and around the world and by his former students. Bryon will also be sadly missed by his two collies: Ghillie and Brodie who he thoroughly enjoyed walking on the Kissing Bridge Trail.

Bryon was preceded in death by his father, Carl Higgs, his mother, Jean Allen and his stepmother, Peggie Higgs.

Bryon’s family would like to thank the Neurology team at Hamilton General Hospital as well as the ICU East Nurses for the exceptional care they provided to Bryon in his final days and for the support they provided to the family during this difficult period.

A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, December 21 from 7-9 pm at Dreisinger Funeral Home, Elmira. A celebration of Bryon’s life will be held on Friday’ December 22 at 1:30 pm at Elmira Mennonite Church with a reception to follow. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations to the Mennonite Central Committee or the Elmira Lions Club Memorial Forest would be appreciated by the family.

Bryon’s family invites everyone to visit Bryon’s memorial website at and to sign the electronic guest book. We would love to hear about your memories of Bryon or as he was known to his students, “Mr. Higgs”.  


Posted by Bruce Cameron on 30th June 2018
On what would have been Bryon's 75th birthday, just wanted to say we all miss him and his keen insights on financial markets and politics - with everything going on these days, I know Bryon would have very much enjoyed the markets and political background - I shall take the opportunity today to raise a toast in Bryon's honor!
Posted by Scott Smith on 13th February 2018
Chris and family, I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of your dad! He was the sax in stage band that got the hard parts and then helped us with the timing... he also welcomed me kindly into your home when we were practicing "Brothers in Arms" for the talent show. He seemed always happy, upbeat (and on beat), caring and kind. My heart is sad for you and for the loss of your dad! My sincerest condolences to you and your family! May God bless and comfort you all in this hard time.
Posted by Paul Fretz on 29th December 2017
Mr. Higgs with his wonderful smile, great laugh and engaging spirit. He was a teacher that marked my high school time with fondness. My love for historical events grew while in his classes.
Posted by Nashira Dernesch on 23rd December 2017
Mr. Higgs was a patient teacher with a wonderful sense of humour and his storytelling skills in our Ancient Civilizations class enthralled me. I still remember his delight in interviewing students who had taken on the roles of Napoleon, Caesar, and other historical leaders for a culminating project. He loved history and shared that love with his students. He made me a better writer and, as a teacher myself now, I have often thought about the way he managed to raise his students up to meet his high expectations. He was a wonderful man and I'm truly sorry to hear of his passing.
Posted by Brian Kirkham Family on 23rd December 2017
Janet, Heather, Kelly, Chris and grands; Our wonderful memories of Bryon go back many decades. And indeed, they were wonderful. His support and help in my political endeavors, His support in the subjects he taught to our numerous children, his involvement in the band, orchestra, drama. In fact, his work in everything at EDHS. Bryon always had time for everyone with his great words of greeting and constant smile. Bryon was a great guy. We will miss him. Brian.
Posted by Jonathan Malloy on 22nd December 2017
I am sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Higgs, as he was to me. He was my Grade 13 history teacher in 87-88. While I had always done well in the subject, he pushed me to a new level, and having had some success in the field since, I’ve always attributed a lot of it to Mr. Higgs. I particularly remember his marking system for essays, with circled numbers in the margins corresponding to a sheet of typed comments, and still think of it sometimes now whenever I comment on a Word document. He was both rigorous and inspiring.
Posted by Carolyn Strathdee on 22nd December 2017
Bryon was a very kind roommate to my Dad - D. Roy Shantz - at Grand River Hospital. My condolences on the loss of your husband, father, grandfather, friend. You are all in my thoughts, especially at this time of the year.
Posted by Ruth Pearce on 22nd December 2017
My sympathy to all the family on the loss of a beloved father and husband. I spent many years across the hall from Bryon. It is the sounds that come back - the clatter of his typewriter, the music after classes had ended and practice started and his chuckle when something funny delighted him. May you find peace in the many memories of a wonderful man. Ruth
Posted by Chong Family on 21st December 2017
We have known Bryon fifteen years ago, we have been related by marriage of his beloved son, Chris, and our beloved daughter, Vivian. Reminiscing back to the graceful moment of that big day 15 years ago, Bryon was in a beautiful traditional Chinese Suit (blue Tang Zhuang), his sanguine personality and beaming smiles are still engraved at the bottom of our hearts. We have shared a whale of great time together, conversing about traditions, cultures and history. We truly believe that there is no boundary in relationship and love. Along the years, Bryon and his family have never missed a time sending us Christmas and Chinese New Year Greeting cards every year. It is a very lovely and precious in-laws relationship. My deepest condolences to the Higgs family. May he rest in peace! He is loved beyond words and missed beyond measure by Chong Family.
Posted by Frank Azevedo on 21st December 2017
Bryon ( Book ) was a True Gentlemen, who to me was a Kind of a Father figure, always shared his Honest Conservative opinion, a true Gem, we will miss him. May he rest in Peace. My condolences to his Wife and Children. Frank
Posted by Tracey Cronin on 21st December 2017
Mr. Higgs taught me how to write. After struggling through grade 9, Mr. Higgs put my name on the black board with some of the brightest students at EDSS. (Who, until that point, did not include me.) I loved grade 10 history. I learned the skills I needed to go to University, undertake Graduate Studies in Canadian History and to eventually graduate from Law School. I was so lucky to have had him as my teacher; and even more fortunate that I had the opportunity to share my gratitude with him while he was with us.
Posted by Kerry S on 21st December 2017
Thinking of you all at this difficult time. My strongest memory of your Dad was his countdown to retirement, and it looks like he did amazing things with that time once it arrived! His garden(s) are so beautiful. I am so glad you got to enjoy each other for as long as you did, and that he was able to know Maya & Elena so well, and they him. Take good care of yourselves.
Posted by Steve Heather on 21st December 2017
Dianna Weltz posted a condolence Thursday, December 21, 2017 Though I did not have the honour of having Mr. Higgs as a history teacher, his commanding presence in the school was greatly felt. I will miss meeting him and his beloved dogs on the trail and having our small chats
Posted by Steve Heather on 21st December 2017
Darrell Rees posted a condolence Wednesday, December 20, 2017 I remember Mr Higgs fondly as my History Teacher at EDSS. My condolences to his family at this time
Posted by Steve Heather on 21st December 2017
Connie Lacy posted a condolence Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Sending my deepest condolences to Kelly and her family for your tragic loss. Please know that in this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Connie Lacy
Posted by Steve Heather on 21st December 2017
Sabrina posted a condolence Wednesday, December 20, 2017 I will remember Mr Higgs as a great history teacher. Bless his heart he always tried to make things like the Avro Arrow and John Diefenbaker interesting. He always appeared genuinely surprised as to why 15 year olds were not interested in remembering signifcant dates in Canadian history. He was one of the most memorable teachers from EDSS and I never missed his class. My thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
Posted by Fred Lenz on 21st December 2017
Bryon is in our hearts and on our minds as we think of the good times we shared “back in the day” at EDSS. I remember particularly the clarinet quintet and sharing a classroom with Bryon. Sharing his desk was not an option though, mounded high as it was with his History teaching materials. In cold weather Bryon did not need a refrigerator for his lunch, he just set it on the outside windowsill near his desk. Rest in peace Bryon. My sincere sympathy goes out to your family.
Posted by Wayne Ziegel on 21st December 2017
Dear Janet and Family, I was shocked to hear of Bryons passing. We are down here in Texas. I remember fondly the years Bryon and I shared the history office. We taught grade ten history and I always enjoyed hearing his perspective on some of the issues we taught. After classes were done I know he spent countless hours with his musical group The Honking Geese. He was a quiet dedicated man who I shall remember fondly. May God be with you and your family as you go forward in the days ahead. Please accept my condolences. Wayne Ziegel
Posted by Kim (Holterman) Martin on 20th December 2017
Mr. Higgs was a caring, patient teacher. I remember the many lunch hours he spent working with our clarinet quintet. Oh, the patience he had with squawking instruments and giggling girls! One other memory...of Mr. Higgs trying desperately to call his exuberant lab Crescendo as the furry fellow barreled down the road to greet me! My thought and prayers for peace and comfort are with you all.
Posted by Jacque Cole on 20th December 2017
My 20-plus year online friendship with Bryon has been an extraordinary experience and I am deeply saddened that he is not longer with us. My life and the lives of others in our small group have been enriched and I will be forever grateful for his friendship and the ability to share so much Births, deaths and marriages, the happy time and the sad times, the joys of grandchildren, dogs and gardens - we have shared them all and I send love and condolences to all his much loved family who I feel that I know so well. He was so proud of them all. Bryon extended his friendship to Rodney with financial advice and information and he was very supportive and helpful when Rodney had a stroke not long ago. He will be sorely missed. Jacque and Rodney Cole
Posted by Kelly Buxton on 20th December 2017
He was a stalwart of our Department and a really nice man who was smart and decent to everyone he worked with. We had many laughs both in the department office and at his house after he retired. His insights regarding the financial trends and the field of world affairs was refreshing and unique to his outlook. I feel fortunate to have been his colleague. Craig Stuart
Posted by Steve Heather on 20th December 2017
Very shortly before Bryan was given his diagnosis ,I met him in the parking lot by Donuts & Deli and we had a very pleasant conversation . He was happy and engaging so now with his passing I'm looking at that little tete a tete as a gift . Bless you all as you navigate the next stage of life . May you be given the strength and support you need to "make sense of it all". My sincere condolences to you ,Janet and all your kin. Fern Shantz
Posted by Nora Martin on 20th December 2017
I was one of Mr. Higgs' students in the mid-seventies. He was a good teacher! My thoughts are with the family at this hard time.
Posted by Jean-Marie Lapointe on 20th December 2017
I share Bryon's family sadness. After 15 years of contacts with Bryon, I will miss this great human being always ready to help others. I remember with a smile photos he shared with all of us on a board he was managing on the net. Photos of beautiful little girls and Bryon having a funny hat... Bryon was a great leader on an investment board and made many many friends. To all his family members, please accept my sincere sympathy. Au revoir mon ami Bryon. Je ne t'oublierai jamais et garderai pour toujours d'excellents souvenirs. Tu vas manquer à de très nombreuses personnes. Merci de m'avoir aider à évoluer rapidement dans le domaine fascinant de l'investissement. Que Dieu protège ta famille.
Posted by David Knarr on 20th December 2017
Bryon is remembered by all us "old guys" in the Waterloo Concert Band as one of the most active members while on the executive there. It was through his contacts that we started performances in Elmira. Bryon was always a hard worker even as his physical limitations started to show. A great liason between people with his positive and friendly manner. We benefited from his time with us.
Posted by Roger Buxton on 20th December 2017
Living on the other side of the country I did not get to know Bryon well. Because he was the father of our Blaise's wife Kelly, he was always on our thoughts. I always marveled at his knowledge the few times we met. May his family take comfort in knowing he is no longer in pain and is in a better place.
Posted by Ronald Mathies on 20th December 2017
Go Well Neighbour. Your ever present beautiful flowers brightened our street. Your generosity of spirit -- surprising us by wallpapering and painting our house before we returned from Africa, helping to chop down the trees in our back yard, always willing to help --will always be gratefully remembered. Janet and family, courage and serenity as you go in God's compassion and care as you celebrate Bryon's memory, life and legacy. Gudrun & Ron
Posted by Gary Bryant on 20th December 2017
When we played basketball in the '70s on winter Wednesday nights, Bryon was always perched immovably under the basket to gobble up rebounds from any errant shots from Huschka or Collins. What a formidable presence! ( Gery Kraemer has alluded to these fun times when we were young and somewhat athletic.) I always enjoyed Bryon's cheerful presence on the EDSS staff.
Posted by Kristen Mathies on 20th December 2017
Mr. Higgs working in the family's amazing gardens, biking down the street even when the snowbanks were almost as tall as him, out walking the dogs, playing music with students wearing the green band sweater in solidarity, and giving us current events quizzes in History class! Being friends with Janet and Bryon's daughters since childhood, I have seen him be a loving and joking dad; being a neighbour in Elmira I've seen him be a kind, generous and hardworking community member; being a student in his class, he got us thinking and caring about Canadian and international politics, and his gr. 13 History course was some of my very best preparation for university. Much strength and peace to Mrs. Higgs and all of the family as you miss him.
Posted by Gerry Kraemer on 20th December 2017
Bryon and I were teacher colleagues at EDSS for nearly 30 years and for several years are classrooms were next to each other. My strongest memories of Bryon are from our staff basketball days. He was a formidable presence under the basket, especially when it came to getting rebounds. Playing together against the senior boys basketball team was always a treat. I will always remember Bryon for his sincerity and hard work. My deepest sympathy to Janet and all the Higgs family. May he rest now in peace!
Posted by Deborah Whale on 19th December 2017
Bruce and Deborah are still processing the sudden loss of our friend, Bryon and know that we will surely miss his very unique and interesting influence on our lives. Janet and Bryon and the two of us had the opportunity to do a few fun trips Mexico, to Ireland, to Malaysia and a cruise down the Mississippi. In all of those places he enjoyed the gardens and flowers and had lots of obscure historical information to keep us surprised. He was also a very organized and detailed person and I can certainly attest, that as the manager of my political campaign, he ran the best campaign in the entire province! He knew every neighbourhood and street in a very large Riding and he ensured that every part of the campaign from door knocking to media and advertising to finances was a masterpiece of organization. Bryon and Janet were also the pillars of our Bridge Club. Bryon was a great bridge player and had absolutely no pity for bridge "weaklings"! Of course, there is also Bryon's well known penchant for investing and he managed some of our money with great gusto, keeping us abreast of changing economic and political circumstances which affected the stock market. We enjoyed these regular updates and marvelled at his ability to assess the issues. We will miss " our" Bryon but will have lots of great memories of our friendship. We send our love to Janet and the Higgs Family. Deborah and Bruce 1hale
Posted by Bruce Cameron on 19th December 2017
Bryon and I were not close friends in the traditional sense but I know we nonetheless considered ourselves close friends in a non traditional sense based upon many years of cyberspace get togethers, innumerable emails exchanged dealing with the markets, politics, and history etc, as well as getting together for lunches to talk shop - so traditional or not, I considered him a friend and I will greatly miss his wit, occasionally sardonic sarcasm, vast knowledge of history and politics and of course, his always keen insights and observations of the market - perhaps more importantly I will miss him and his humanity, but I consider myself thankful that we passed this way together, a product of the computer age, without which I likely would have never had the privilege and honor to meet up with him, and call him my friend - my heartfelt wishes and condolences to the family - Bryon will be greatly missed. Bruce Cameron

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