Elaine C. Heaviland

Elaine Heaviland

MUNISING, MI – Elaine C. Heaviland, 85, of Munising and Marquette, passed away Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020 at Harbour View Assisted Living in Munising.

Elaine was born on January 14, 1935 in Trenton, Michigan, a daughter of the late John Lewis and Zella Lucille (Pope) Higgins. She attended Trenton Public Schools and graduated from Slocum Truax High School in Trenton in 1952 where she was homecoming queen her senior year. Elaine then attended Western Michigan University from 1952-54. In 1954 she was Miss Congeniality at Western.

In 1954, she left Western to become a model for the Ernst Kern Company. In 1955 she married her college sweetheart and settled in San Antonio, Texas. Together they had two sons, Stephen James and Thomas John. The family returned to Trenton, Michigan and Elaine became a certified water safety instructor. She taught water safety classes for the American Red Cross, Detroit Chapter. She later became the Physical Education and Swimming instructor for the Edison Institute, Greenfield Village Schools, Dearborn, Michigan, a historic site developed by Henry Ford and world headquarters of Ford Motor Company. For eight years Elaine taught physical education and swimming at the Greenfield Village School, holding weekly employee family nights of activities and swimming. Summers were spent managing the Dearborn Inn swimming pool teaching swimming, diving and tennis. While living and teaching in Dearborn she received an Associate’s degree from Henry Ford Community College.

The family moved to Marquette in 1970 and Elaine started teaching physical education after completing a degree from Northern Michigan University.

Along with teaching at Marquette Senior High School, Elaine was the woman’s varsity golf coach and co-supervised the student activities and officiated boys and girls basketball games. Some summers Elaine volunteered as the waterfront director for the Upper Peninsula Girl Scouts in helping them obtain their first aid badges. She life guarded many scouts and taught many swimming lessons throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.

She was at MSHS when she was asked to head the girls physical education and coaching departments at Graveraet Junior High. She coached girls basketball, gymnastics, the cheerleaders, and the boys and girls track and field team.

Elaine passed the national teachers exam, qualifying her to teach in the State of South Carolina. She was hired by the Charleston County School District to teach first grade. After four years she moved into a second grade position. While teaching elementary education, she was the head diving coach for the College of Charleston, South Carolina Division I.

She returned to the Upper Peninsula retiring at her home on AuTrain Lake. She loved spending time with her family and friends on the lake. Her love of swimming continued long into her retirement years. In her free time, Elaine enjoyed reading the bible daily and sharing the Word with family and friends. Elaine was a lifelong Detroit Red Wings fan and loved college football.

Elaine is survived by her two sons, Stephen (Aimee Lanphere) Heaviland of Evanston, IL and Thomas (Joanne) Heaviland of Carlsbad, CA; two grandchildren, Christian Heaviland and Gianna Heaviland. Preceding her in death besides her parents was a brother, Vern Higgins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, August 14that 11 a.m. in St. Christopher Catholic Church with the Rev. Greg Heikkala officiating. The Heaviland family will greet relatives and friends one hour prior to the Mass in the church.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider St. Christopher Catholic Church, 2372 Badger Street, Marquette, MI 49855 in Mrs. Heaviland’s memory.