Mary Brightman(1931 - 2014)

Mary Lou Brightman

Ivins, Utah

Ivins, Utah - Mary Lou Brightman, 82, passed away Monday, February 10, 2014.

Mary Lou (Highfill) Brightman was the beloved mother of 5 children. She was born April 10, 1931 in Buffalo, MO to Harry (Jack) Ellis and Ivy Jewell (Brundridge) Highfill. During the Great Depression, they moved to California with their 3 daughters in tow: Bette Sue, Mary Lou and Barbara Elenore. She spent her teen years and most of her married life in Southern California where she met her first husband, William Edward McCloskey. This marriage resulted in 4 children. She later divorced and married her second husband, Charles Elmer Brightman. They had one daughter together.

She lived in Buffalo, MO; Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, and Torrance, CA; Central Point, OR; Whitmore, CA; and St. George and Ivins, UT where she passed away. She was treated with dignity and respect by the hospice and healthcare staff at the Southern Utah Veterans Home.

She is survived by her children and their spouses; Susan Elaine (McCloskey) and William Bailey Murphy of Central, UT; Mary Ellen (McCloskey) and Jerry William Richmond of Whitmore, CA; William Edward and Stephanie Ann (Hickey) McCloskey of Moab, UT; Nancy Eileen (McCloskey) and Bruce LaVal Jenson of Lexington, KY; and Charlene Elizabeth (Brightman) and Jari Antero Eloranta of Boone, NC. She also has 9 grandchildren; Jason, Todd, Chantel, Amber, Heather, Lindsie, Kenzie, Rebekka and Robert; 9 great-grandchildren; Kirsten, Chad, Dillon, Karlie and Malachi; Bret and Ean; Summer and Sierra and 3 great-great grandchildren; Kaela, Kylie and Khloe.

"Our mother was kind to all. Her laugh was infectious and she had a great sense of humor. She was a dedicated community volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul's Thrift Store and Meal Program in Medford, OR and later for the Whitmore Firecrackers (a fundraising program for the Whitmore Volunteer Fire Department in Whitmore, CA). Mom's passion for life was voiced through song, and many mornings she awoke and serenaded us to Oklahoma! Musical's "Oh What a Beautiful Morning". She loved animals (except snakes) and was particularly fond of pigs and buffalo, which we always found heartily amusing. We loved her stories about life growing up on a Midwestern farm and her teenage antics as a theater usher in the mid-1940's. She is loved and will be missed by all whom she has touched."

Arrangements were made under the direction of Heideman-Hughes Mortuary of St. George. A private service will be held for the family at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Vincent de Paul of Medford, OR, 2424 N. Pacific Hwy, Medford, OR 97501 (541) 772-3828 or the Humane Society of the United States (

Funeral Home

Hughes Mortuary
1037 East 700 South St. George, UT 84790

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on Feb. 18, 2014