Catholic 02

David James Huggins

October 5, 1957 ~ April 3, 2019 (age 61)

Obituary Image


David James Huggins, 61, of Valrico, Florida, entered into eternal life on April 3, 2019. He was born in Prince George's County, Maryland to Earl James Huggins Jr. and Elizabeth Ann Lehtinen on October 5, 1957. He is survived by his wife, Ann Margaret Hodkinson Huggins; son, Benjamin; and brother, Jeffrey Huggins.


Please enjoy a few videos David's wife, Ann has created for him: -Wedding Day -Wedding Vows -Wedding Vows -Valentine's Day -Happy Birthday David -For David -Aran Islands


Eulogy for David James Huggins

When I think of my husband, David James Huggins I think of love; the love which he expressed for me during our time together and the deep love that I felt for him. David was my husband and great friend, whom I admired, loved and respected. 

My father, Charles, used to say to me that, in the end, only faith, hope and love remain and the greatest of these is love. Faith, hope and love last eternally. Love endures and triumphs even after death. Love is eternal. 

The most perfect example of love is Christ’s Divine Mercy, the perfect generosity of God.  Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus’ love expressed in the Divine Mercy is the greatest of love. Christ’s sacrificial love was made manifest as He laid down His life for all of humanity. Christ’s loving and merciful heart forgives the greatest of our sins, dissipates and eradicates sin at the foot of the cross.

We love imperfectly here but when our immortal souls are perfected in God’s merciful light, then we will love as we were meant to love; purely and selflessly as God intended for us from the moment of our conception.

My father, Charles, studied for the priesthood in the seminary for seven years. He told me many times that, “The purpose of life is to know God, Love Him and serve Him in this life and to be happy with God forever in Heaven.” This is the ultimate purpose of our existence. This was the purpose of David’s existence; to love God in this life and to love God ultimately for all of eternity. I pray that David is perfectly loving His Creator as God intended for him from the moment of his conception.

For the Christian, we know that death has no victory over our immortal soul. Christ’s resurrection is victorious and we will receive our resurrected bodies on the Last Day. After death, life is not ended, merely changed. Our eternal home is with God.

Now David James Huggins’ earthly journey is over but his eternal life has just begun. When we first married, David used to tell me that we were on a great adventure together. Now David’s eternal adventure has begun with God who made heaven and earth.


His Pride and Joy

The pride and joy of David’s life was his son Benjamin and David loved him dearly.  Benjamin brought so much happiness to David. David was so proud of Benjamin and always spoke of how intelligent and talented Benjamin is. He would never stop talking about his son to me. David told me countless times about what a blessing the birth of his son was to him and how Benjamin made David a better man. His son helped David to become more selfless and loving. David also had a wonderful relationship with Benjamin’s mother, Lisa Young.

His Love Of God

I did not fall in love with David because he was tall, handsome or brilliant, although, to me, he was all of these things and I loved these attributes about him. I fell in love with David because he loved God and because he loved his Catholic faith. I loved David because of his kindness toward myself and my mother, for his generosity in sharing his time and talents with me, and because he was my great friend. I found David fascinating and we used to spend hours every day talking with each other all day long when he was not at work. David always tried to have a kind word for everyone he met. If he were here in this church today he would have something nice to say about each person here.


His Kindness

An Irish priest friend of mine told me after the death of my mother, that the only things you can take with you to the afterlife are those things which you give away on earth; your love, your kindness, your generosity, your charity, and your enduring faith. The measure that we measure with on earth will be measured back to us in Heaven.

David was very kind to my mother, Mary, and she loved David very much. When she had trouble walking, he would hold her hand and help her so that she would not fall. Numerous times I had to wake David in the middle of the night at 3am when my mother was having chest pain. In the middle of the night when I needed his support, he was never irritable and was always kind, patient and understanding. My mother loved David. When she had to endure very painful procedures and injections she would always seek comfort from David and he was very patient with her.


His Faith

David was very proud of his Catholicism and was a convert from Lutheranism. He had a profound experience of conversion made instrumental by a family friend (Guillermo’s wife, Lanaya). This wonderful woman taught David how to pray the rosary and she was instrumental in David’s conversion to Catholicism.

David had a strong faith in God and a deep belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  He loved that great miracle (the magnum mysterium), the great mystery of the Eucharist which takes place at every mass. Whenever I attended mass with my husband, he would always kneel before the host before receiving communion; just a visible outward sign of the truth in David’s heart regarding the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It was extraordinarily beautiful that David asked me to marry him while we were praying the rosary together before the Blessed Sacrament.

David loved the mass and would fall asleep while listening to the Latin Mass each night. He loved the song, “Oh Magnum Mysterium,” (The Great Mystery). He told me a story of how he drove sixteen hours to Georgia and back to Tampa in order to take Benjamin to mass when his son was at a special event for the Boy Scouts. He did not want his son to miss mass on Sunday and so he made that 16 hour journey for Benjamin.

One day, David told me a profound story about an event that occurred when he was a very small child. When he was about four -years- old, he saw a lady dressed in white appear in his bedroom. The lady was an angel. The angel told David that he was going to have a very beautiful life. I pray that David’s entire life was as beautiful as that angel sitting upon that young four- year- old boy’s bed. I know that David’s son, Benjamin, helped to make David’s life extraordinarily beautiful and fulfilled.

His Love of Family

David was born the eldest child of Earl James and Elizabeth Ann Lehtinen Huggins. He described the great love that his parents had for each other and loved his parents deeply. He was greatly affected by the death of his young father when David was 18 –years- old and by the loss of his mother when David was 39 -years -old. David told me of how he would speak with his mother for hours on end about everything and anything and explained that they were great friends and very like- minded. David told me that the greatest gift his parents ever gave to him was sharing the gift of their faith with their son and instilling that deep spark of faith in him as a child. David loved his brother, Jeffrey, dearly and told me stories about their childhood overseas.

His Intellect

God blessed David with a sharp intellect and he was one of the most intelligent people I have known in my life. He had a rare brilliance about him and was mostly right about facts 99% of the time. I used to joke with him when I discovered he was wrong about something, that 1% of the time.

A Great Man

My father used to say to me, “Ann Margaret. Great men are like mountains. When you are very close to the mountain or climbing the mountain, you see all of the mountain’s imperfections. You don’t see the mountain’s immense beauty or greatness but when you are removed from the mountain or distant from the mountain, you see its innate, profound beauty, its perfect imperfections, and its greatness.  Great men are imperfect men because we are all imperfect.”

The philosopher, Aristotle, philosophized that we each start out in life with immense potential to become great; similar to the small acorn growing into the mighty, strong oak tree. David was a great man because he loved God and because he loved others. David strove to emulate the Jesuit motto, “Men for others.”

David loved Jesuit High School and all the high school students whom he coached for robotics. He loved coaching robotics and was so proud of his robotics students at Jesuit.


His Childlike Heart

David had a childlike heart and that is partially why he loved building computer games so much. David was so proud of his Alley Ball and King Pong creations.

He loved Legos and loved to build Lego models. When we first began dating one another, David asked me if I had any Legos left over from my childhood. I told him, “Yes,” and joked that I had them organized inside of special drawers. Funny enough, he believed me and thought I was serious. He wanted to take me to Lego Land in Tampa on a date. That is how much he loved Legos. He had a childlike heart.


In the End Only Love Remains

David has been the greatest love of my life and my great friend. When we were engaged, David gave me a card in which he wrote that he wanted to be my “husband throughout eternity, rejoicing in the glory of God, worshipping God together forever.”  As part of our wedding ceremony, David asked the priest to include in the mass that David and I would love and honor each other forever through eternity. One of the last things that David said to me was that he, “would love me forever.”  I, in turn, will love David James Huggins forever.  I will pray for my husband until the day that I die and I will miss my husband until the day that I die. I pray that one fine day, I will be reunited with my husband David James in Heaven, and there we will worship God as we were created to do from the moment of our existence. There we will love perfectly in God’s holy light.


I will pray for Thee

When St. Thomas Moore was about to endure martyrdom, he said to his family, "You pray for me and I'll pray for thee, and may we merrily meet in heaven."

David used to close each prayer with “In nomine Patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen and Amen.”

And so we pray;

May God surround the soul of David James Huggins with the Divine Mercy for all eternity.

Eternal rest grant unto David, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May David’s soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

In nomine Patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen and Amen


Mass of the Resurrection

David James Huggins

April 27, 2019

"I am the resurrection and the life.

Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,

and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”


St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida

Principal Celebrant:  Rev. Paul Deutsch, SJ


Entrance Hymn; Be Not Afraid

                               Please see the back of this memorial book for music and words to the songs.

The First Reading

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans; Romans 14: 7-12

None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and in death, we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But you, how can you sit in judgement on your brother? Or you, how can you look down on your brother? We shall all have to appear before the judgement seat of God.  It is written, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each of us will give an accounting of ourselves to God .


The Word of the Lord.

Response; Thanks be to God.



Psalm to accompany the reading

Responsorial psalm (Psalm 116 -- an Alleluia psalm)

Reader: I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.


I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

I kept my faith, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted";

I said in my consternation, "Everyone is a liar."


I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.

O Lord, I am your servant; You have loosed my bonds.


I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.


Second Reading

A reading from the book of Revelation (21:1-5a, 6b-7)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,

and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from

God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;

he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no

more, for the first things have passed away."

And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from

 the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things,

and I will be their God and they will be my children."

The Word of the Lord.

Response; Thanks be to God


The Gospel Acclamation


Alleluia. I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will not die for ever. Alleluia.

A reading from the holy gospel according to John (11:17-27)

Response; Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was

near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary

to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met

him, while Mary stayed at home.

Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know

that God will give you whatever you ask of him." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will

live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the


The Gospel of the Lord.

Response; Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.


Prayers of Petition

We pray that Jesus in His Divine Mercy welcomed David James Huggins into the Heavenly Kingdom.

We pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

For David James Huggins, who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he may now be admitted into the company of the saints. We pray to the Lord.

Response; Lord Hear our Prayer.

May the Faith in God that David showed throughout his life be an inspiration for all who witnessed this.

We pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

For the family and friends of David James Huggins,  that they may be consoled in their grief by the Lord, who wept at the death of His friend Lazarus. We pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

We pray for all Jesuit priests, for the Jesuit order and for all of the faculty and students of Jesuit High School.

We pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

We pray for respect for life from conception until natural death.

We pray to the Lord

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

We pray to the Lord

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.

For all of us assembled here to worship in faith, that we may be gathered again in God’s kingdom. We pray to the Lord

Response: Lord Hear our prayer.




Entrance Hymn;

Be Not Afraid

The Holy, Holy, Holy will be sung in Latin as

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Osanna in excelsis.

(Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest).

“The Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world” will be sung in Latin as

Agnus Dei XVIII

Please see the back of the memorial book for the music

Celtic Alleluia

Offertory Hymn;

Jesus Remember Me


Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom.


The Prayer of St. Francis (Make me a Channel of your Peace)


Ave verum corpus

Ave, verum corpus
Natum de Maria Virgine,
Vere passum immolatum
In Cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
Unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
In mortis examine.

Translation of Ave Verum Corpus

Hail True Body

Hail, true Body,
born of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered,
was sacrificed on the cross for mankind,
whose pierced side
flowed with water and blood:
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death.

And  Second Communion Song

I am the Bread of Life

Commital to Place of Burial

Song of Farewell


In Paradisum; 

“May the choirs of angels come to greet you.

May they speed you to paradise.

May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.

May you find eternal life.”


"See, I make all things new.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Those who conquer will inherit these things,

and I will be their God and they will be my children."



Memories of David

David said to me that he believed that he had a soul mate and he believed that I was his and I believed that he was mine when we married each other on December 20, 2017. The Irish name for soul mate is anam cara or the friend of your soul. David was the friend of my soul. When we first started dating, I thought that David was going to be really boring because he was so mathematically inclined but I soon discovered that he was fascinating and I could listen to him talk for hours about everything and nothing of consequence at the same time. The first time we told each other we loved each other the country song “The Outskirts of Heaven” was playing on the radio; fittingly it was a song about Heaven.

We met on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec 8 2016. Without a doubt it was God’s will and part of our fate for David and I to marry each other. One night, before David and I married, my mother had a dream that she was in Heaven living in a huge mansion with David’s parents and with all of our family who had passed already. In my mother’s dream our two families were inseparably joined together and eternally linked with each other.

On our first St. Valentine’s Day together, he made me a little Lego Christmas house with a happy family for me. It is funny that we ended up marrying each other at Christmas time. We were not even engaged when David made me the little Lego Christmas house on our first St. Valentine’s Day. There were hundreds of serendipity moments during our time together. I knew it was God’s will for us to marry. There were hundreds of signs. When David showed me a picture of his mother as a child, his mother looked like she could have been my twin sister. There were so many serendipity moments.

David and I kissed for the first time in Mission church in Boston in front of the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. As we knelt before the icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help, the door next to the icon was open and a gust of wind came in with a gentle breeze as beams of sunlight streamed through the doorway toward the icon, landing upon David and I.  All of the holy brightly colored candles flickered from the breeze.

David asked my mother’s permission to marry me. He later asked me to marry him in front of the Blessed Sacrament at my favorite church St. Anne’s Shrine in Fall River, Massachusetts.  We were praying the rosary together. David said he needed to tell me something. I said, ‘Hold on a minute. I have to offer the rosary for your parents …”and so we did. After we finished praying the rosary, David turned to me and said, “My mother would like you to have something. He opened a little vintage box with his mother’s engagement ring in it, and he asked me to marry him. He said “You’re not going to start crying are you?” That day was June 24th and strange enough when I was 8 years old, on June 24th, I wrote in my diary that I felt that it was the calling in my heart to marry one day.” There were many serendipity moments throughout our time together.

After we were engaged, David gave me a card in which he wrote that he wanted to be my “husband throughout eternity, rejoicing in the glory of God, worshipping God together forever.” He wrote this beautiful letter to me stating that I would be the last great love of his life.

Before we married, I had a dream one night about David’s late mother, Elizabeth Ann. In my dream I was in his mother’s house in Florida and Elizabeth showed me her wedding dress and mentioned that she wanted her dress to be part of our wedding ceremony. I saw Elizabeth’s house clearly and I described what I saw to David and he said that is what his mother’s house looked like. For our wedding, I sewed a little piece of David’s mother’s wedding dress into my own wedding dress to carry a little bit of his mother with us on our wedding day.


His Childlike Humor

David used to joke with me about my tendency to hold onto grudges and about my Irish temper. He joked that one day when I died, he would already be in Heaven and I would be on the outside of the pearly gates due to my Irish temper and unforgiveness in my heart. David joked that he would have to tell St. Peter to unlock the gates for me because I was with St. David and would explain that I had an Irish temper. David helped me to forgive others completely and David also helped me to love truly.

Memories of David

David loved his son Benjamin so much. He told me so many stories about his son. He told me that he knew what it was like to unconditionally love someone when his son was born. He described how one time when his son was about 2 years old, Benjamin took a sippy cup full of juice and dumped it onto David’s three thousand dollar sound system and destroyed it. Benjamin, unaware of what he did, had the hugest grin on his face. David told me that, at that moment, he knew that Benjamin was his world. David’s love for God was the only love that surpassed his love for his son, Benjamin.

David loved his brother, Jeffrey dearly and told me stories about their childhood overseas told me this one story about exploding yellow clay and a firecracker inside their home. Young David thought it was a good idea to place a firecracker inside of yellow clay. He lit the firecracker. The yellow clay ended up covering his younger brother from head to toe and all of the walls in the room where it exploded. I am sure Jeffrey cannot forget that story because he lived it.

David loved to tell me a story of how when he was in his early twenties, he backpacked around California with a little cat inside of his backpack. Someone had given a little kitten to David and he took the kitten along for his adventure backpacking in California. The little orange tabby followed him everywhere. David told me how he brought the kitten into the train with him and the kitten kept popping its head out of David’s backpack. The conductor kept coming around to look to see the kitten popping its head out of the backpack. Cats were not allowed on the train and the conductor was very kind.

He told me the story of how he almost died while skydiving as he hit his head on the airplane coming out of the door. He told me a story of a time he was in college, and his life was saved by a complete stranger when David was nearly going to faint and fall into a sharp metal barrel that was being used as a firepit. A stranger came out of the blue and grabbed David before he fainted on top of the sharp metal barrel.

David had a litany of people he would faithfully pray for each and every night; ‘For  Benjamin, John Lacey, Traya, Guillermo, Lanaya, William, Lisa, Michael Higgins , Mike Delusia, Emil, Jeff, Anne Marie, all the robotics people he coached, Annie and my mother Mary. I wish I had written down all the names of those whom he prayed for each night. My favorite part was when David would thank God for me and He used to tell God that he loved me very much. I loved hearing Him thank God for our love and for our relationship.

David loved truly and was loved truly throughout his life. May God hold David in the palm of His hand and keep him safe and happy for all of eternity. Amen and Amen.

To send flowers to David's family, please visit our floral section.


April 27, 2019

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Lawrence Catholic Church
5225 North Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614

Prayer Service
April 27, 2019

10:30 AM
St. Lawrence Catholic Church
5225 North Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614

Funeral Mass
April 27, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Lawrence Catholic Church
5225 North Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614

© 2020 Holloway Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS