Jeanne Hightower

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Jeanne Hightower



Jeanne Hightower, beloved mother, grandmother, and teacher passed away peacefully on March 23, 2018 at Fairwinds Retirement Home in Rio Rancho, where she resided for the past two years. Jeanne was born in Chicago in 1923 and was the sixth child of Michael and Rose (Singler) Keehan. She was predeceased by her brothers, Richard (Eileen), William, Edmund "Bud", Robert (Gloria); sisters, Marguerite (Norman) Dellman, Virginia, and Rosemarie (Paul) Audet. Jeanne is survived by her sons, Mike (Anay) Hightower of Albuquerque, NM; Dr.Stephen (Terry) Hightower of Rio Rancho, NM; Tim Hightower of Birmingham, AL; grandsons, Shaun (Nicole), Scott (Marilyn), Chris, and Matt Hightower; granddaughters, Stephanie, Jeannine, Rylie, Hailey, Kaycee Hightower and Julie Hightower (Randy) Sloan; great-grandsons, Travis and Gavin Hightower; great-granddaughter, Kensie Sloan; brother, Michael (Marilyn) Keehan of Kennett Square, PA; nephews, James (Barbara) Audet of Albuquerque, NM; many nieces and nephews and their children who reside in Chicago, New York, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and across the United States. Jeanne attended St. Barnabas Elementary School and the Academy of Our Lady Catholic School in Chicago. In high school, because of her math skills, Jeanne often filled in as a substitute math teacher, thus starting her on her long teaching career. After graduating from high school, she pursued a career in accounting until she enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1943, as young women were recruited to support the war effort and help hasten the end of WWII. After finishing basic training in Palm Beach, FL, Jeanne was stationed in NYC as an accounting clerk, until she was discharged in 1947. After WWII, Jeanne continued her education at the University of Chicago, and then transferred to Texas Tech in Lubbock, where she accompanied her sister Virginia who had received a position as the Dean of Women. It was at Texas Tech where she met her husband, Marion Hightower of Hobbs, NM. They married in 1950 in Hobbs, NM. After a short stay in Hobbs, they moved to Oklahoma City where Marion took a job as a pipeline construction manager for BS&B, building a pipeline to North Dakota. Over the next three years they moved six different times as they followed the construction, having their first son Mike in Hays, KS and their second son Steve in Williston ND. In 1954 they moved to Houston where Jeanne started her teaching career in special education at an intercity public high school in Houston. In 1956 Marion got a job offer as a regional sales manager for Lufkin, a provider of oil field pumping units, with options to move to either New Orleans or Hobbs. At the insistence of Jeanne, they left the Gulf Coast humidity behind and moved back to Hobbs in 1956. Jeanne started working for the Hobbs Public Schools in 1957, teaching at the high school, home bound, and junior high levels, that included teaching English, typing, bookkeeping, accounting, and special education for a wide range of class levels. During this time she received several teaching awards and served two terms as the president of the Hobbs Classroom Teachers Association. In 1967 she became a professor at New Mexico Junior College teaching book keeping and accounting, where she taught until 1972. Following a divorce, she moved to Las Cruces and taught office education at Las Cruces High until 1975, when she moved to Santa Fe as the Director of Office Education for NM. She retired from the state in 1981 and went to work for CNM (then TVI) at the Montoya campus in Albuquerque, teaching office education courses until final retirement in 1984. In 1985 she moved for a few years to Truth or Consequences and in 1988 returned to Albuquerque where she lived near family and friends until her death. Jeanne was a devout Catholic and lived her faith. When living in Albuquerque, she was an active member of first Holy Ghost and later Immaculate Conception Parishes, and after moving to Rio Rancho, became an active member of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, participating for many years in Altar-Rosary Society, Rosary Makers, and Right to Life. In 2008 at the age of 83, she went underwent open heart triple-bypass surgery that significantly improved her health, which allowed her to remain active until 2016, when her health again deteriorated due to congestive heart failure. Over the past two years her friends at Saint Thomas, Greens Condominiums and the staff of Fairwinds of Rio Rancho, were of great help, encouragement, and support to her and the family, as she finished the last phase of her journey here on Earth. Jeanne will be dearly missed by her sons, grandchildren, family, friends, and former students, who all admired her and loved her dearly.

Visitation will be at Daniels Family Funeral Home on Sara Rd. in Rio Rancho from 8:30 to 9:30 am on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Rosary to follow at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Rio Rancho at 10:00 am, Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am. A short reception at the church will follow the Mass. Interment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery following the reception.

Funeral Home
Daniels Family Funeral Services, Sara Chapel
4310 Sara Road SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
(505) 892-9920
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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Mar. 28, 2018
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