Elizabeth “Erin” Higgins Centenio, 95, passed away Thursday, November 26, 2020 with her children at her side. She was born to Irish immigrants, Mary Ann and Patrick Joseph Higgins, on July 30,1925 in Galveston, Texas.
Erin was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Centenio; her parents; brothers Edward (Billie), John (LuVerne) and Joe Higgins; and her sisters, Mary Christine Higgins and Eileen McDonough.
Erin attended St. Patrick elementary and was a proud Dominican High School graduate. She was employed in her younger years through American National where she met her lifelong friend, Mary Durel. She married the love of her life, Joe Centenio in 1952 and together they raised 6 children. She worked at St. Mary’s school and then transitioned over to UTMB in the mid 70’s where she was a devoted secretary to the Pediatric nursing department. It was here where Erin would share her enduring love for those less fortunate by washing their clothes, bringing baked treats , setting up their “TV FEE” when it was required to be paid for so the children could watch TV, but most importantly sharing her motherly touch by visiting a sick child who had little family with them or allowing a child to sit at her desk and be an assistant for a period of time to take their mind off of being so ill.
Meemaw, as many came to know her in her later years, was a woman of extraordinary faith. She was a proud member of the Sacred Heart Altar Society. She led by example of how to be a faithful and loving servant. The rosary was her constant companion until she could say it no more. Prayer books were often found around the house tied up by a rubber band in a drawer with a medal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Blessed Mother nearby.
Meemaw was a fabulous cook. Shared meals around the dining room table are a tradition her children continue to this day. There was no better question than, “What’s for Sunday Dinner?” This sharing of food was extended to the outdoors where she loved to feed the birds, thoroughly enjoying them, often with a hearty Irish laugh as they would fuss and fight over the seeds.
Meemaw was a devoted mother who lived what it meant to be strong in life, faith and family. She was a loving, fun grandmother and was very proud of her grandchildren who enjoyed endless playtime when they were together.
Erin is survived by her children, Mary Elizabeth Glass, Joey Centenio, John Centenio (Sonia), Gina Centenio, Eileen O’Connell (Michael) and Sheila Ott (Craig); grandchildren: Jonathan Glass (Monica), Kelly Hecker (Neil), Marissa Claunch, Melaina Centenio, Michael O’Connell, Lauren O’Connell, Erik Ott, and Kyle Ott; great grandchildren: Elizabeth Hecker, Xzavior Roberts and Xzylah Scalise; sisters, Patricia Higgins and Sheila Hawkins; sisters-in-law, Vivian Centenio and Leta Higgins; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to COVID, a private service will be held.
Pallbearers are Joey Centenio, John Centenio, Mike O’Connell, Craig Ott, Jonathan Glass, Erik Ott, Kyle Ott, and Michael O’Connell.
If you would like to pay condolences by signing the book, you may do so Wednesday, December 2 between the hours of 2 pm and 6 pm at Malloy & Son Funeral Home, or you can sign via virtual book at www.malloyandson.com.
Meemaw’s smile through her long and courageous battle, will always be remembered. The family would like to thank all who supported her through this time. Thank you to Connie, Jennifer, and Gabriella, the staff at Concord and Village Hospice. A very special thank you to Season’s Personal Care Home for the compassionate and loving care extended to Meemaw in her final months.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Erin’s memory to: Dominican Sisters of Houston, 6501 Almeda Drive, Houston, Texas 77021, or you may donate online at www.domhou.org.