God, in His Infinite Wisdom, so willed in the small rural town of Barnesville, Georgia that Horace Arthelia Hightower would be born February 27, 1943, as the youngest son of Thomas W. Hightower and Ophelia Ogletree Hightower. God knew that Barnesville, Georgia, would be the place for Horace A. Hightower to fulfill his life calling through his gifts of service and exhortation.
Horace A. Hightower joined the family home church, Bethel Baptist Church, Johnstonville, Road, Barnesville, Georgia as a young boy. He loved the church; he loved Bethel, where he remained a lifelong member, living long enough to be respected and honored as the oldest male of the church.
Of all the boards he served in his lifetime, Horace A. Hightower highest call to a board was in 1975 when he was ordained as a deacon of the Bethel Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Reverend O.H. Stinson.
Horace A. Hightower loved the studying and teaching of the Word of God, and for years taught the Adult Sunday School class at Bethel. He later attended Sunday School in the neighborhood at West Mount Sinai Baptist Church and was blessed to enjoy teaching the Adult Class under the leadership of the late Reverend Horace Fuller and the Reverend Waylon T. Knight.
Horace A. Hightower was a graduate of Booker High School with the Class of 1962.
After he graduated from high school, Horace A. Hightower began working with his older brothers with the family’s legacy of bricklayers. Due to the heat and his dreams, he left the job one day and went to the Recruiting Office, where he enlisted in the United States Navy.
Stationed in San Diego, California aboard the USS Hooper DE1026, a flagship, his military duties included communication as a radioman. With an honorable discharge from the Navy as a radioman second class. He returned home to Barnesville to be with her and to support his family. He enrolled in Griffin Technical School (now Southern Crescent Technical College.) and worked at the William Carter Company. He earned his degree in electronics from Griffin Tech, and at the recommendation of his instructors, he was offered and accepted a position with Pitney Bowes as a customer service engineer, traveling the region installing and repairing postals and troubleshooting other technical issues with the company’s equipment across the state of Georgia. After 31 successful years with Pitney Bowes, earning many service and commendation awards throughout his career, he retired in 2006. Because of his skill and passion for the job, he continued to work as a contractor/consultant for the company upon retirement.
Horace A. Hightower was first elected to the Lamar County Board of Education in 1978. In 2016, the Georgia School Board of Association recognized him as the 5th longest sitting Board Member in Georgia out of 1,039 members in 180 systems. After devoting his time, efforts, and support to the staff and students of Lamar County, he retired after 42 years of service in 2020. At the time of his retirement, he was the second longest serving board member in the State of Georgia. Having served as a dedicated member, vice-chairman, and chairman throughout his tenure on the board, he worked tirelessly for 42 years to help lead the Board of Education in ensuring the equity and the excellence of staff and students in Lamar County.
He was appointed to serve on several boards and committees throughout Lamar County and the State of Georgia. He devoted much of his time to community service and involvement. He received numerous awards and commendations for his faithful service. The Barnesville City Council and the Lamar County Board of Commissioners both proclaimed February 27th as the Horace A. Hightower Day in recognition of his commitment to education and service to the community. His sons and his grandchildren, his pride and joy, presented the first Annual Horace A. Hightower Scholarship in 2020 upon his retirement from the Lamar County Board of Education.
An avid Trojan fan, he was a visible voice at all of the school’s football and basketball games and many of the other school activities. With a deep affection for the games and activities, he admired the players and participants and felt he had to be there to support them. Rain or shine, win or lose, Horace Hightower was at a Trojan came. Shouting he lived long enough to see it, he was overjoyed and excited to join all the Lamar County Trojans play in the State Championship Game in the Georgia Dome. While this single game was historical for him, he treated every game and every other activity and every student just as important. He was indeed a loyal supporter of the students’ academic and fine arts programs and the work of the administrators, the teachers, and the entire Trojan staff.
.On Monday, December 4, 2023, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and fought valiantly until his final moment at 11:59 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
Horace A. Hightower leaves to continues his legacy of faith his devoted wife of 61 years, Gwendolyn Maddox Hightower; his sons, Minister Marcus R. Hightower, Hampton, Georgia, Zachary Hightower, Fayetteville, Georgia, Horace D. Hightower, Barnesville, Christopher Hightower, Barnesville, and Andre Colquitt, Griffin, Georgia; his granddaughter, Amber C. Hightower, Fayettelle, Georgia; his grandson, Darius T. Hightower, Fayetteville, Georgia; his godson, Jarvis C. Mangham, Stockbridge, Georgia; his “Big Sister” Tommie Mary Hardin, Barnesville; his sister, Reverend Ada B. Long, Newnan, Georgia; his brother Reverend Charlie F. Hightower, Newnan, Georgia; his sisters in law Lucille Maddox Arverne, New York, Jeanette Maddox Brown, Virginia, Linda Maddox, Atlanta, Georgia, and Vernordia Studstill, College, Park, Georgia; his brother in law Arthur (Reverend Dr. Charlene) Maddox, Atlanta, Georgia; his aunts, Mary Ogletree, Barnesville and Leola Weaver, New York City, New York; his nephew-son Dr. Ayo Bandele (Diane); his niece-daughter Betty J. (Robert) Rogers, Barnesville; his nephew-son Michael A. McGee (Reverend Mia McGee ); his great nephew Mikyle McGee, Griffin; his great nephew Reverend Edward (Janice) Searcy, Thomaston, Georgia), his other nieces and nephews, who he adored and enjoyed spending time, joking and hearing about their life; his godchildren, his classmates, the Lamar County Trojans, and his friends.
On Tuesday, January 30, 2024 viewing and visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at West Mount Sinai Baptist Church. A Farewell Celebration Service will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 1 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church with Pastor James C. Marable officiating. Interment with military honors will be held in the Greenwood Cemetery.
Trice Funeral Home Inc. is serving the family.