Bob Hightower, 91 of Kirksville, Mo., Travis-Noe Funeral Home
Travis-Noe Funeral Home
1008 W. Potter AveKirksville MO 63501660-665-1300travis-noe.com
Clarence Robert (Bob) Hightower
1926 - 2017
Bob Hightower, 91 of Kirksville passed away on Saturday, July 15.
The son of Rolla and Minnie (Ryan) Hightower, he was born on May 22, 1926, in Golden, Illinois, and was the thirteenth of fourteen children.
Bob graduated from Rushville High School in Rushville, Illinois, with the class of 1944. On June 2, 1944, he entered the U.S. Navy during World War II and held the rank of Quartermaster Third Class on the LST 816. He was honorably discharged on June 5, 1946, and was the recipient of medals for the American Theater, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, and the World War II Victory, a ribbon and star for the Philippine Liberation, and stars for Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
In the fall of 1946, he enrolled in the Gem City Business College in Quincy, Illinois, and graduated in 1947. He met his wife, Betty, while they were both students. They were married on June 15, 1947, at the First Methodist Church in Novinger. Shortly after their marriage, they resided in Springfield, Illinois. They returned to Novinger in 1948 and lived there for 40 years. In the spring of 1988, they moved to Kirksville.
Bob owned and operated two businesses beginning with Hightower Vending in 1954. After selling it in 1973, he established Hightower Wholesale.
Since 1953, he has been a member of the Masonic Lodge, first in Novinger, and then with the closing of the Novinger lodge in 1963, he transferred his membership to the Kirksville Masonic Lodge 366 AF & AM. He held the position of Worshipful Master in 1956-1957 and Secretary in 1960-1962. In 1958-1959 and 1964, Bob served as Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star Lodge in Novinger.
Contributing to community improvement was always extremely important to him. In 1958 he was elected mayor of Novinger and held that position for two terms. Under his leadership, the residents approved the construction of the city water system. Bob was a charter member of the Novinger Planned Progress, Inc., with its inception in 1960 and continued to be active for 48 years serving as president for several years. He gave benevolent service to the organization as well as to the Coal Miner's Museum, both of which he considered to be a privilege and enjoyment. He delighted in the many hours spent working in the Coal Miner's Museum constructing sets or organizing artifacts.
Bob was a member of the Lions Club, first in Novinger and then in LaPlata after moving to Kirksville. He held the following offices: President in 1967; Secretary, 1969-1972; Zone Chairman, 1972, District Deputy Governor, 1973-1974; a District Governor of Lions Club International, 1977-1978. He was the recipient of the Lions International Presidents Award and other numerous awards and honors during his tenure with the Lions Clubs. The Supreme Extension Award from Lions International was given to him after he assisted in forming the Green City Lady Lions Club. It was the tenth club that he was instrumental in organizing. The distinction of being chosen as a Melvin Jones Fellow was presented to him in 1987-1988.
Bob was the first vice-commander for the Kirksville American Legion Post 20, a past member and president of the Adair County Schools for the Exceptional Children, and a past ember of the VFW 2508 and Moose Lodge 1751.
He attended the Novinger Baptist Church for 56 years where he taught the Adult Men's Sunday School class.
Bob is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Tom Hawkins of Kirksville; two grandchildren, Brandon Hawkins, of Columbia, and Kristin Kinney and husband, Adam of Kirksville; three great-grandchildren, Dylan, Grant, and Megan of Kirksville; one brother-in-law, Fred Rock, of Webster Groves, Missouri, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, on September 8, 2010, his parents, his thirteen brothers and sisters, his father- and mother-in-law, Clem and Irene Rock, and one nephew.
Public visitation will be held Thursday, July 20, 2017 at Travis-Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville, with family receiving friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The funeral will be held 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2017, at Travis-Noe Funeral Home with Reverend Darrell Crooks officiating. Music selections "Amazing Grace" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" will be provided by Twila Jones who will be accompanied by Dianthe Cable, organist. Interment with full military honors will follow the service at Maple Hills Cemetery in Kirksville.
Pallbearers will be Fred Rock, Bob Daniels, Marty Martin, Kelly Blacksmith, Jeff Martin, and Jay Wallace.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Bob Hightower may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Lions International, Hope's Kitchen, or a charity of the donor's choice. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.