Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association Honorary President dies

The Scotsman, Feb 13, 2008

Jody's caring and warmth an inspiration

Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) -- HONORARY President of Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association Jody Higgs, from Stockbridge, dies aged 71

Jody Higgs, nee Williamson, was born in Urbana, Illinois, in the United States, on August 29, 1936.

She graduated in speech therapy from the University of Illinois and moved to Edinburgh in 1958 where she studied a postgraduate diploma in phonetics and linguistics at Edinburgh University.

After graduating, Jody worked at the university as a lecturer in linguistics.

There, she met illustrious physicist Professor Peter Higgs at a CND meeting at the university staff club in 1960.

The couple married in the Capital in 1962 and went on to have two children, Chris, now 42, and Jonny, 39.

Jody and Peter eventually split up but the two maintained a close relationship and lived near one another.

Jody had many interests, which included her membership of Stockbridge CND and her practise of yoga and Buddhism. She travelled to India to study Iyengar yoga which she practised in the yoga centre on Bruntsfield Place for around ten years.

After she retired, she continued to work from her home in Saxe Coburg Street as a core process psychotherapist.

Always a spiritual person, Jody became a Theravada Buddhist a type of Buddhism practised mainly in southeast Asia. She meditated with Edinburgh Theravada Buddhist Group every Thursday as well as attending a monthly meeting at Newcastle's Harnham Buddhist Monastery where she was a trustee.

She helped found the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first meeting last Friday.

Some 15 years ago, Jody led an initiative to introduce a "Time for Rest and Silence" during the Edinburgh Festival. She saw that people needed spiritual support during the intense and often chaotic time of the Edinburgh Festivals and opened the event to all.

Victor Spence, general secretary of Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, said he would remember Jody's warmth, laughter and commitment to the many
causes she believed in.

He added: "Jody was a very dear friend to me. She has helped me on many occasions when things got tough. I hold great respect for her and great love for her.

"Jody is, and will be, missed by all her colleagues and friends in the Inter-Faith community we will remember her."

She was due to speak in the Time for Reflection at Scottish Parliament last Wednesday three days after her death. Instead Suzanne Dance read the words Jody had prepared, on her behalf.

Jody died on February 3 at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital. She had suffered from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma since 1994 and was in hospital for a week before her death.

She is survived by her sons Chris and Jonny and her granddaughters Jo, eight, and Bonnie, six, as well as her brother Don Williamson, who lives in Arizona.

A private funeral service is being held for Jody this morning.