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1932 Laura 2017

Laura Horton (Willoughby) Higgins

August 17, 1932 — April 6, 2017

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Laura Willoughby Horton Higgins, 84 years, died Thursday, April 6th, 2017 at home.  She was born in Jackson, Mississippi to Rose Coker and Clyde Marvin Willoughby.  She graduated from Duke University with a BA degree in Music and English, and received her Master's Degree in Education from Morehead State University as well as a Master's Degree in Church Music from Episcopal Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY.  She was a member of Phi Mu Sorority at Duke University.

As a child, she won the International Piano Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.  She taught piano for many years and was a music teacher in the Montgomery County, KY school system.  She served as the Director of Sweet Adelines in Lexington and in Morehead, KY as well as in Jackson, MS.  She was Program Director for the Mississippi Arts Commission from 1982-1984.  Laura was always active in the community, volunteering and holding many offices.  She served fifteen years on the Gateway Area Tourism Development and Recreation Board and fifteen years as Executive Secretary of the Montgomery County, KY Fair Board.  For eighteen years she was the piano accompanist for the Lions Club Annual Minstrel Shows (and later the Follies), then played piano for the Dinner Theater in Terry, MS.  She was President of the Friends of Terry and raised thousands of dollars to restore the train depot and convert it to a regional arts center for the community.  She was a founding member of the Mt. Sterling, KY Little Theater and served as the Musical Director and accompanist.  She also served on the Appalachian Regional Development Council for Education and Housing.  Laura was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Scottish Rites.

Laura had served as President of the Mt. Sterling (KY) Women's Civic Club, Episcopal Church Women, Forest Hill Lioness Club, Capital Street United Methodist Women (Jackson, MS), Senior Regent, Women of the Moose, Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County Library Board, and the Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County Voter Registration Task Force.  She was Troop Leader and then Troop Consultant for a five county area for the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council, served on the Lexington, KY Arts Council, Judge for Junior Miss of KY, KY Music Education Certification Committee, Mary Chiles Hospital Auxiliary (Mt. Sterling, KY) where she was the gift shop coordinator and buyer.  She was also Choir Director and pianist for several different churches in Mt. Sterling, KY and in Mississippi.   She was never happier than when sitting at a piano, sharing her amazing gift for music.

Laura is survived by three children: Leigh Horton Shultz (Tracy) and Laura E. Horton, both of Mt. Sterling, KY and James Courtney Horton III of Jackson, MS; eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.


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