LEWISTON — Patricia “Patty” Higgins, of South Portland, unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 27, after complications from an illness.

Patty was born Dec. 16, 1966, in Lewiston, the daughter of Rita Vachon and William “Buddy” Higgins and grew up in Sabattus. She graduated from Oak Hill High School, where she excelled as a student and athlete, particularly at basketball. She went on to graduate from the University of Southern Maine, where she also played softball.

Patty served as a social worker in the Portland area and then worked as the director of scholarship programs for The Mitchell Institute, helping students from Maine realize their potential.

Patty was a bright, kind, giving and compassionate person who was always helping others. Despite life’s challenges, she continually focused on the good in people and what could be.

She was a devoted daughter, loving and caring sister and aunt. Most importantly, she was dedicated to her partner, Andrea, who was always there for Patty through thick and thin, and to her son, Ian, of whom she was indescribably proud.

Patty is survived by her partner, Andrea Mitchell, and their son, Ian Mitchell; her mother, Rita Vachon; her sister, Susan Mason; her brother, Chad Higgins; and her beloved dog, Milly.

Her family encourages those of you who knew Patty to share your fond memories with each other and embrace her loving, caring and generous qualities in your lives.