ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Aubin Michael Higgins was born May 23, 1943, in Earlington and passed away peacefully at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sept. 23, 2021, at age 78. He was the son of Aubin and Thelma Hibbs Higgins, both of Earlington.

Dr. Higgins was a 1965 graduate of the University of Kentucky in Lexington with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He went on to obtain an M.S. in 1967 and a Ph.D. in biomechanical engineering in 1971 and served on the alumni board for the UK College of Engineering from 2005 to 2015.

He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1965, serving as a professional engineer, and retired from the Pentagon with the rank of colonel in 1996. During his service, Dr. Higgins taught engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1978 to 1983. He also worked in the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory and led the CREST program to design ejection seats for the F-16 and other aircraft, saving the lives of numerous pilots.

Dr. Higgins was preceded in death by his wife, Theresa Davis Higgins of Earlington in November 2000 from complications from multiple sclerosis.

He is survived by his daughter, Amy Higgins, her husband Mike Simpson and their sons Gabriel and Nolan Simpson of Atlanta; and his brother, Lexis Higgins, his wife, Vicky and their children Nathan, Benjamin and Abby of Fort Garland, Colorado.

Memorial services will be held at Jefferson Funeral Chapel in Kingstowne, Virginia, and burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery, both on a date to be determined in late winter or early spring of 2022.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at www.nationalmssociety.org.