Billy Gene Hightower (’59)

Bill Gene Hightower
NOVEMBER 16, 1934 – DECEMBER 19, 2021

Bill went to be with our Lord and is now resting in peace. He was born to Ora Maguire Hightower and Carl Newton Hightower in Waxahachie, Texas and grew up surrounded in love by six siblings, with two surviving sisters: Barbara Hightower Baty and Patsy Hightower Ward.

He attended Waxahachie High School where he was Duke of Freshman Class, Prince of Senior Class, Best All Around 1950-51, Most Handsome 1951-52, Senior Favorite, Vice-President of Sophomore Class, President of Senior Class, Captain of Football Team, Baseball, Basketball, Track, and F.F.A. President. He graduated in 1954.

He then attended East Texas State College for two years on a football scholarship, and then transferred to the University of Houston pledging Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and met and fell in love with his best friend and soulmate, Carol. He graduated in 1958 with a business degree while working for Gulf Oil Company. Bill and Carol married in 1959 and they then briefly moved to New Orleans while employed at Hydril Company in oil rig inspections and sales. In 1962, they moved back to Houston and bought their first home. He then bought his own Gulf Gas Station on West Alabama at Kirby Drive. Bill then became an executive at Southmark Industries before becoming President of Ranger Truck Lines, where he retired many years later.

Bill and Carol loved traveling together as well as taking vacations with their children. They spent many winters in their home in Vail, Colorado while hosting family and friends, and Bill skiing the black slopes. Many summers were spent at their lake house on Horseshoe Bay with their children, and friends, while enjoying many hours water skiing, roasting in the sun, and ending each evening with a huge barbeque meal. Bill and Carol also spent 40 years at the Houston Racquet Club playing tennis while hosting luncheons and dinners. Bill was always on a tennis team and was a strong and popular player, winning club championships. You could always find them eating out and trying different restaurants with friends on the weekends too. Bill was a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo.

Until several years ago, Bill and Carol spent all of their adult life attending the University of Houston home football games as they were avid boosters of the athletic program, with Bill earning the coveted Red Blazer. The family’s church home was Chapelwood United Methodist Church for many years. Then later, Bill and Carol transferred to Pines Presbyterian Church.

Bill was a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend. He was highly energetic never sitting down for very long unless watching his favorite football teams.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Kimberly Hightower Pell and husband, Greg; son, Craig Hightower and wife, Lisa; grandchildren, Matthew Pell and fiance, Hayley Walz; and Kendra Pell Walker and her husband, Jeffrey; brothers-in-law, Bill Baty, Clyde Ward and Jim Studdert; and numerous nieces and nephews; as well as many friends who all will deeply miss him.

A funeral service for Bill will be held Wednesday, December 29, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home, 12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77077. Following the funeral service will be a committal service from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77077.

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