We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Spencer Funeral Home
Wilma Suprynowicz died on Sunday, July 10, in Meriden, Connecticut, at the age of 96. She was a long-time resident of Marlborough, CT. Her passing was peaceful and she was with family in her last days and hours.
Wilma Udoris Higginbotham was born March 29, 1926, in Bethesda, Ohio, to Lucy Mae and Clarence Edward “Hick” Higginbotham. She and her beloved younger sister, Vivian Louise Higginbotham Simpson (1928-2011, formerly of Greenville, Ohio), were raised in what was previously the one-room White Oak School in St. Clairsville, Ohio, abutting a bucolic Girl Scout camp.
Wilma was a graduate of the White Cross Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio, and spent her career working as a Registered Nurse, retiring from the infirmary at the University of Connecticut (Storrs campus) in the 1980s. While at nursing school, she met her husband of 68 years, Vincent “Vin” Anthony Suprynowicz (1923-2016), who was a student at the Ohio State University finishing up his bachelor's degree (begun at Wesleyan University before World War II) and earning his master’s degree. He previously served as a Navy radioman in the Pacific Theater during the war. Vin, born and raised in Middletown, CT, went on to earn his Ph.D. in Physics at Yale (1953) and spent his career in both industry and academia, retiring from the University of Connecticut after three decades as a professor of electrical engineering. Together, they raised three children and played instrumental roles in the lives of their two grandchildren.
They are survived by their children Vincent Suprynowicz, and his partner Amy Lawrence, of Pahrump, NV; Clark Suprynowicz, of Berkeley, CA; and Gina Morgenstein, and her partner Laurence, of Wallingford, CT. Their grandchildren are Hannah Nicole Higgin and her husband Joel George Higgin of Cheshire, CT, and Noah Daniel Morgenstein of Shanghai, China. Their great-grandchildren are Maximilian Rhys Higgin and Lucy Madeleine Higgin, also of Cheshire, CT. Lucy is named after Wilma’s mother.
Wilma was outgoing, with a wide circle of acquaintances and friends. It was typical for unannounced houseguests to sweep in off the breezeway on any given day, no knock required, often joining in with an already-ongoing social visit. Her hospitality was legendary. Visitors arriving at almost any hour could expect food to be sizzling in the skillet within minutes, and it was impossible to leave her home near the lake without consuming a baked good or slice of pie. What she favored herself, though, was hot beverages: a mug of earl grey tea with lemon and honey, or, for a treat, hazelnut coffee with cream.
As her family and friends know well, she would call attention often to natural beauty, to birds and to the animal kingdom, which brought her reliable wonderment and pleasure. She and Vin both loved spending time in their beautiful yard, listening to the sounds of nature and the woods around them. Wilma was also an avid gardener– a trait she passed on to both her daughter and granddaughter– and she expressed devoted affection to a series of beloved cats. She traveled extensively during her lifetime, with her husband and family and also alone; she enjoyed fashion and beautiful objects and furnishings; and she was fiercely loving, strong-willed, and independent.
Wilma’s long life spanned generations, transformations of society, startling inventions and innovation. Through all this, her focus was reliably on family and human connection, on communication, and on caregiving, which was both her profession and her natural gift. Wilma’s passing is mourned by all who knew her.
Graveside service at the State Veterans Cemetery 317 Bow Ln, Middletown, CT, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at 10am, and is being managed by the Spencer Funeral Home of East Hampton, CT.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club. To leave online condolences please visit www.spencerfuneralhomeinc.com.