Maxine Annalee Caldwell Hightower died peacefully at her home on July 24, 2017 at the age of 89. She was born to James Andrew Caldwell and Etna Francis Gaddis on October 11, 1927 in Cement Oklahoma. She met the love of her life, William "Bill" Hightower, at Union Hill High School after her family had moved to the Lexington area. The couple 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. They decided to marry on December 24, 1942, thinking that WWII would be over in a few months. Since Maxine was quite a beauty, Bill told her he thought they should marry before someone else stole her heart.
After the war, the couple made their home near Lexington in what is now known as the Slaughterville community. They decided to open their own business, building and operating Champlin service stations in the Lexington and Purcell areas. In the 1960's, they sold their thriving business to farm and raise cattle, where Maxine worked side-by-side with Bill, tending livestock and running a household while raising two daughters.
With a mixture of hard work and common sense, Maxine kept always their growing farm self-sufficient. She would can up to 40 quarts of green beans at a time and still have managed to prepare noon meals for her family and other farm workers. While she was an excellent Southern cook, throwing in a pinch of this and that, her specialty was lemon and chocolate pies. One ranch hand remarked that he would only eat two kinds of Maxine's pies- hot and cold. In her spare time she loved to share recipes with her neighbors and write long letters to her brothers and sisters who were spread across several states. Even with all of her daily responsibilities, she always found time to read her Bible daily, and, as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, share her growing Bible knowledge with others.
Throughout her life, she possessed a love of the outdoors, and a deep commitment to family and community. She welcomed all visitors with a smile and a story, treasuring the conversations she could have with them. She especially loved to have grandchildren visit so that she could share the names of trees and plants. With every visit, her grandchildren were given pieces of nature to take home with them. The Hightower farm was always over run with stray dogs, lost cats, and abandoned wildlife. Maxine saved birds, squirrels, skunks, or any lost animal that came to her door. Her favorite activity throughout her life was to go to the pastures in springtime to look at the newborn calves and colts.
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents, James Andrew Caldwell and Etna Frances Gaddis; siblings, Sidney Caldwell, Connard Caldwell, Isaac Caldwell, Norris Caldwell, Jack Caldwell, Jimmy Caldwell, Luther Caldwell, Paul Caldwell, Clarence Caldwell, Ada Cates, and Evelyn Ellis. She is survived by her sister Ruth Kensell; two daugthers, 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. Each one of them made Maxine's days a little brighter. Graveside services will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at the Lexington Cemetery. Send online condolences @ www.wilsonlittle.com.
Published on July 24, 2017