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Geneva Belle (Higgins) McGee
September 6, 1919 ~ January 17, 2024 (age 104) 104 Years Old
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Geneva Belle Higgins was born on September 6, 1919. She was one of six children born to Richard and Hattie Higgins in Lexington, Kentucky. She lived a very blessed life. At about age 10 she carved a small sculpture of a lady from a cabbage stalk with a large butcher knife. When her mother and the farm owner (where they lived) saw the sculpture, they decided to give her better tools and watch her work. She continued to enhance her artistic skills with God-sent mentors. She graduated valedictorian from her high school and was awarded a scholarship from the state of Kentucky to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Geneva Higgins graduated from Spelman College in 1944 where she majored in fine arts. During her time there she studied under Nancy Elizabeth Prophet who was the first African American graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. One of the highlights of her time at Spelman was being invited to tea with Ms. Prophet and W.E.B. DuBois. Geneva began teaching at Alabama State after graduating from Spelman College and continued teaching until she retired in Cincinnati, OH.
Geneva married Herschel N. McGee and they parented their nephew, Raymond McGee from a toddler after his mother passed. Later, they had one daughter, Harriet McGee Crawford. While raising two children and teaching, Geneva furthered her education by earning a Masters of Education from Miami University of Ohio in 1962. She was a dedicated teacher and used her brains and energy to excel in that field. In addition to teaching, Geneva was an interdisciplinary artist, who sculpted, painted, and made jewelry. One of her early works is a Brass Bas-relief of Nancy prophet which resides in the Amistad Museum in New Orleans, LA.
Geneva was always very active in her church, Zion Temple First Pentecostal Church where she was instrumental in opening a Christian academy for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. She was extremely proud of that school which is still very successful today. Geneva believes God blessed her in many ways and she always tried to bless others in kind.
Geneva is survived by her daughter, Harriet Crawford; her son-in law, George Crawford; her younger sister, Marcella Bush; her grandchildren, Oni Crawford and George Crawford; her great-granddaughter, Azania Crawford. She leaves behind many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives, and friends.