Jason Hightower, 44, of Meeker passed away Sunday morning, Jan. 25 2015, after a 10-month battle with brain cancer.
He was born Aug. 10, 1970, to John and Peg Hightower in Savannah, Geo., where Jason spent his childhood until the family moved to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1980. There, Jason was graduated from Farragut High School, where he played the trumpet in the marching band and made many life-long friends.
Jason received his bachelor’s degree in history from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., where he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha fraternity and the Furman Singers. He married his college sweetheart, Lalah Manly after graduation, and the couple resided in Florida and then Georgia, where Jason received his master’s degree in school psychology from Georgia State University.
Jason and Lalah divorced, and, in the summer of 2000, Jason spent several months on a cross-country solo tour of the United States—one of his greatest memories—visiting several friends and family members along the way.
In Atlanta, he later met Mandi Etheridge and they started their life together by moving to Meeker, where Jason reveled in all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer like hiking, mountain biking, camping, skiing… He even learned to snowboard. The couple had two sons, and Jason was proud to raise them in the little town he called home.
Jason was a dedicated employee of the Meeker School District, serving as school psychologist for six years before obtaining his administration certification and taking the position of Meeker Elementary School principal. He always tried to stay focused on “what’s best for kids” and loved helping others.
Jason is survived by: his wife, Mandi and their two sons, John Hampton and Sam, of Meeker; his parents, John and Peg Hightower; and his maternal grandmother, Margaret Taylor, all of Knoxville, Tenn.; his brother, Taylor (Kerrin) Hightower and their three children of Hattiesburg, Miss.; his parents-in-law, Sam and Dolli Etheridge of Sanford, Fla.; his brother-in-law Alec (Jei) Etheridge and their two sons of Murrieta, Calif.; uncle Don (Kim) Taylor of Knoxville, Tenn.; aunt Polly Jo (Stephen Savramis) Hightower of Keyser, W.V.; his cousins and many, many friends from all parts of his life.
A celebration of Jason’s life will be held this summer so that friends and family can gather and remember the wonderful way Jason touched everyone’s lives. Jason was a man of integrity and passion. He was loyal, adventurous, kind, funny and a loving father, husband and friend to all. He will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family would like to continue Jason’s legacy of supporting local public education by accepting donations to the Jason Hightower Memorial Fund, through the Meeker Education Foundation.