Everett "Ed" Highsmith, 89, of Layton, Utah, passed into everlasting life on July 24, 2016, at Fairfield Village in Layton, Utah.
Ed was born Aug. 27, 1926, in Palmetto Ga., to Howell and Annie, nee Pendley, Highsmith. His family moved to various towns but he spent most of his childhood on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. As a teenager, World War II presented an opportunity for adventure so at the tender age of 16, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in Hawaii soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and loved to tell stories of being kissed by Rita Hayworth and driving supply trucks over the mountains. After he was discharged, he met the love of his life, Delores "D" Tennant while roller skating in St. Louis. This lovely damsel happened to be engaged to another but Ed knew she was the girl for him. He told her that she needed to "dump" the other guy. She did and they were married on Oct. 4 1952. They built their first home in Collinsville and had two children. Delores stayed home until the children were old enough to be in school while Ed worked as a lineman, splicer, and repeaterman for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. Ed and D were active in the community through neighborhood gatherings, Good Shepherd church, Holy Cross school, and playing cards with friends and neighbors. Ed was handy and often helped friends and family with various building projects.
In 1969, they finished a new house in Belleville, Ill., where Ed continued working for the telephone company and D went to college and worked as a bookkeeper. They enjoyed square dancing, bowling, and hosting holiday celebrations. After taking early retirement, Ed and D hitched up a small cargo trailer with a few household necessities and traveled to various locations in the western U.S., renting apartments while they became familiar with new territory. In 1981, they bought a home in sunny New Mexico, where their daughter resided.
Their son joined them there to attend college and many treasured memories were made as the family gathered for Thanksgiving picnics and water skiing at the lake. In 1991, they moved back to Collinsville to be closer to extended family. In 2009, after experiencing some health issues, Ed and D sold their house to relocate nearer their children in Layton, Utah. Ed and D enjoyed the last few years at Fairfield Assisted Living. Ed often said that he wanted to make it to 100 years of age, but two weeks before passing and five weeks before his 90th birthday, he decided 89 was good enough. Upon being reminded that he was 89, he jokingly exclaimed, "You mean I've arrived?" He did indeed.
Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife, parents, a brother, and three sisters.
Surviving are his daughter, Faye (Gary) Severe of Silver City, New Mexico; son, Luke (Susan) Highsmith of North Ogden, Utah; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Condolences may be sent to Faye Severe, 611 Cochise Circle, Silver City, N.M. 88061.
Funeral: Memorial service to be arranged at a later date. Cremation services were provided by Premier Funeral Services of Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Aug. 21, 2016