William "Bill"'s Story

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After a rich and purposeful life, William Earl "Bill" Hightower died peacefully on May 3rd, 2017 at the age of 94. He was born to Walter Lee Hightower and Mary Ida Parker on October 16th, 1922 in Purcell, Oklahoma. He met the love of his life, Maxine Caldwell, at Union Hill School in Lexington when the community gathered on Sunday afternoons for baseball games. They became inseparable, attending local school events until Bill received notice from the local draft board in 1942 that he would be leaving for basic training in California. The couple decided to marry on December 24, 1942, believing that WW II would be over in a few months. He served with distinction for over three years as an army medic in the Pacific Theater, earning multiple commendations including the Bronze Star.
After the war, the couple made their home near Lexington in what is now known as the Slaughterville community. After working for the Santa Fe Railroad, Bill was ready to be closer to home. The couple decided to open their own business, building and operating Champlin service stations in the Lexington and Purcell area. In the 1960s, he sold this thriving business to finally return full time to the job he really loved, farming and raising cattle.
Throughout his life, he possessed a love of the outdoors, a deep commitment to family and close ties to the community. For several years, Bill served on the original board of directors for the Slaughterville Township, helping to organize and incorporate this community. Friends knew he could always be counted on to pull a neighbor's car out of a snow bank, loan equipment, or give crop advice. His most powerful legacy is his impact on his family and his love of life. He led a life of exemplary character that inspired everyone who met him. With a mixture of strong determination and a dry sense of humor, Bill enjoyed people from all walks of life, and treated everyone with respect.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Lee Hightower; siblings, Wallace Hightower, Catherine Ramsey, Ellen Beeson, and Hazel Croy. He is survived by his wife of the home, Maxine Hightower; brother, Hubert Hightower and wife Jeannie; two daughters, Billie Woods and husband Rick, Joanie Hightower and husband Howard; four grandchildren, Tammy Thompson and husband Michael, Mark Woods and wife Annette, Lisa Hyer, and Sean Dixson; eleven great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren and a host of extended family and friends.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Loving Care Home Health, Hospice, and Private Pay for their compassionate and exceptional care. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday May 5th, 2017, at Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell, Oklahoma. Send online condolences @ www.wilsonlittle.com
Published on May 3, 2017
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