Ted Franklin Hightower was a seeker of knowledge. More importantly to Ted, though, he was a father, and on July 11th, 2020 he peacefully passed away in his daughters’ arms at their home in Jacksonville, Florida, following a courageous battle with ALS.
Ted was born on February 6th, 1938 to Helen and Hardy (H.E.) Hightower in Blackville, South Carolina. He met and married Linda Bolton in 1962, whom he shared his only daughter with, Shawnee. He attended the University of South Carolina -Salkehatchie in Allendale, South Carolina and then to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. His major was Geology and he had a minor in Mathematics and Political Science. After working for Bell South Telephone Company, he joined the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969. In 1974 he shared ownership of Ellis and Associates until 1977. After returning to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah, Georgia, he retired in 2003 as Chief over Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste Section. While living in Savannah he married Constance Cowart, who he shared 40 years with.
Ted truly enjoyed being a Geologist and treasured the friendships he made along the way during his career. Many remaining loyal to this day. One of his first hobbies was combing open fields looking for arrowheads and artifacts he’d patiently and precisely reassemble. He had a special affinity and respect for Native American culture. Ted got his pilot’s license while living in Florida and loved the excitement of trying aerial tricks. He also enjoyed teasing his family at the thought of it. For years Ted was an avid runner, a member of the Jacksonville Track Club. More recently, after being introduced to playing guitar by his grandson, he spent hours perfecting his “pickin and grinnin” talents.
He was touched and grateful for his many colleagues, friends, and family who sent cards and letters, called, texted, and visited him throughout his illness. Ted and his family are eternally grateful for the loving care and continued support they received from Paule Franco and Orlando McGuiness for their compassion, friendship and skilled assistance. Everyone who contributed to the efforts of bringing him any level comfort or peace are invaluable and appreciated.
Ted is survived by his daughter, Shawnee Hightower Barron; his spouse, Constance (Cowart); his brothers, Dean (Bobbie) Hightower and Pat (Eula) Hightower; his former wife, Linda (Bolton) Webster; grandson, Karl W Barron, III; his Aunt, Lois (Black) Sanders; sister-in-law, Beth (Cowart) and Rob Zienta; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and countless friends and colleagues. He is preceded in death by his father, Hardy Elijah (H.E.) Hightower and mother, Helen (Black) Hightower.
A graveside service will be held eleven thirty- a.m., Saturday, August 29, 2020 at Reedy Branch Baptist Church in Barnwell, S.C. Please, in lieu of flowers any memorials or donations can be made to The ALS Association Florida Chapter at 3242 Parkside Center Circle, Tampa, FL 33619. The Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology at 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224 or the web at philanthropy.mayoclinic.org
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