|Birth: ||Sep. 17, 1926|
|Death: ||May 8, 2011|
Thomas Reginald Hightower Sr., of Hot Springs Village, Ark., died Sunday, May 8, 2011, at St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs. He was born in Arcadia on Sept. 17, 1926. He graduated from Arcadia High School, and entered the U.S. Navy at age 17. During World War II, he saw duty in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre on the USS Vulcan and the USS Caliente. While aboard the USS Vulcan, he served as radio operator and played trumpet in the ship orchestra. He graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1952 where he played trumpet with the Debonnaires. He began his career as a hospital administrator in 1956, serving at hospitals in Arcadia, New Iberia and Jonesboro. In 1969, he moved to Baton Rouge to become CEO of Woman's Hospital. He served there until his retirement in 1990, after which he served two years as executive vice-president of the Woman's Hospital Foundation. He served as president of the Louisiana Hospital Association, chairman of the Louisiana Educational Television Authority Board of Trustees, president of the Greater Baton Rouge Safety Council, president of the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, was a founder of the Louisiana Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a member of other numerous professional, honorary and social community organizations. Mr. Hightower was a pilot and loved to fly. He was active in the United Methodist Church wherever he resided, participating in the music ministry, serving on the administrative board and other committees. In 1995, he moved to Hot Springs Village where he remained until his death. Mr. Hightower was preceded in death by his parents, Eula Maud (Capers) and Reginald Hightower; stepmother Mildred A. Hightower; his wife and the mother of his children, Mary Eleanor McCarty Hightower; and wife, Mary Elizabeth Baker Hightower. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Patricia (Thomas); daughters, Rebecca Elizabeth Hightower, of Lafayette and Mary Jane H. Durrett and husband John Wesley, of Arcadia; a son, Thomas R. Hightower Jr. and wife Ann Marie, of Lafayette; three stepsons, Keith Nordyke, of Baton Rouge, Reed Nordyke, of Dallas and Jeffrey Gammon, of Baton Rouge; a stepdaughter, Heidi G. Terrell and husband C.T. III, of Senatobia, Miss.; and a sister, Clara Jane H. Walker, of Haynesville. Also surviving him are 10 grandchildren, M. Timothy "James" Stewart, of Houston, Patrick Stewart and wife LeAnn, of Plano, Texas, Nathan Stewart and wife Lori, of Prairieville, John A. "Andy" Durrett and wife Kathy, of Shreveport, Benjamin J. "B. Jay" Durrett and wife Melissa, of Ruston, Thomas E. "Teddy" Durrett, of Baton Rouge, Thomas R. "Trey" Hightower III and wife Crystal, of Lafayette, Eleanor H. James and husband Blair, of Jackson, Miss., and Charles T. "Tad" Hightower, of Baton Rouge; and stepgrandson, Colton Terrell, of Senatobia. He delighted in his nine great-grandchildren, John Michial, Elizabeth, Adam, Noah, Hayden, Liam, Emma, Connor and Davis. He is also survived by three sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service was held Sunday, May 15, at Presbyterian Kirk in the Pines in Hot Springs Village. Mr. Hightower made the selfless decision that his body be donated for medical education and research. Interment will be in the Hightower family plot in the Arcadia Cemetery at a later date. The family requests that any memorials be directed to the Presbyterian Kirk in the Pines Memorial Fund, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or Teen Challenge of Arkansas.
Published in The Advocate on May 22, 2011.
Body donated to medical science
Specifically: Mr. Hightower made the selfless decision that his body be donated for medical education and research.
Created by: Michael Harrington
Record added: May 22, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70205129