- Iona Virginia (Higgins) Severance, 91, beloved mother, nana, and aunt, passed away peacefully at home, in Orrington, on February 15, 2018, comforted by the presence of her son, grandson, and closest friend.
She was born on August 13, 1926, in Columbia Falls, devoted daughter of George and Abbie (Willie) Higgins. In her youth, she was a caregiver for her father, and spoke often of afternoons together, her ice skating, and their listening to Red Sox games on the radio.
After graduation, she began working at Eastern Maine General Hospital, and later was employed with Dexter and Bass Companies, before retraining to become a certified nursing assistant.
Iona was admired for her sense of honesty, hard work, and kindness. Her greatest happiness came from doing for others. A large part of her life centered around time spent with her mother, husband Vinal, sons, grandchildren, extended family, and friendships. She was most content in her kitchen on Snows Corner Road baking pies, muffins, and goodies for every meal, coffee break, get together, reunion, gathering, and celebration she hosted. Iona and her cookie jar welcomed company with an invitation to visit and stay as long as was wanted or needed.
In their retirement years she and Vinal traveled to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, throughout the United States, and wintered at their home in North Carolina.
Even with recent declining health, she remained strong and independent; puttered in her flower, vegetable, and berry gardens, attended family events, made plans, pies, and homemade candy for the holidays, and remained an enthusiastic Red Sox and skating fan. She appreciated and enjoyed countless moments with each thoughtful card, call, or visitor she received.
Iona is survived by her adored sons and daughters-in-law, Ronald (Susan) of Readfield; Tony (Sheri) of Orrington; cherished grandchildren, Kimberly (Shaw) Potter and Melissa (Stewart) Mixer; Sonya Gray; Erin (Severance) McCormack and Kyle Severance; Abbie (Severance) Pappas and Anthony Severance Jr.; seven great-granddaughters, Britani Kramer, Amber Embleton, Haley Potter, Hannah Geren, Eden and Emilia McCormack, Vivien James Iona Pappas; and great-great-grandson, Austyn Grover. Iona leaves behind sister-in-law, Margarette 'Peg' Severance, and several special nieces and nephews, including, Jessica Cooke, Betty Arey, Dawn Hafford, and Jannette Gordon. Treasured memories of her loving spirit live on with those who knew her, especially her loyal dear friend, Barbara Haskell, and ever caring neighbors, Dick and Linda Ireland.
In addition to Vinal, her husband of 66 years, Iona was predeceased by three brothers, Gordon, Donald, and Allan Higgins; and her 16 brothers and sisters-in-law, that were as close to her as siblings.
The Severance family extends a special thank you to Iona's dedicated hospice caretaker, Marilyn. Details regarding graveside services and Spring internment will be announced at a later date.
Published on  February 22, 2018