Carolyn Cole Hightower passed away peacefully on March 4, 2023, at Brandley House Hospice in Summerfield. Her beloved husband of 68 years was by her side.
Carolyn was born in Ocala on March 2, 1932. During her time at Ocala High School, she played in the high school band under the tutelage of her grandmother, Browné Greaton Cole, who was the band master. Following high school graduation in 1950, Carolyn attended Stetson University, where she graduated with her degree in 1954.
On December 12, 1954, Carolyn married Robert (“Bob”) Hightower, the love of her life. Bob and Carolyn lived for several years in Georgia and Tennessee before ultimately settling in Florida.
Carolyn enjoyed playing bridge with her friends, reading and working crossword puzzles and was an avid gardener who loved birds and especially flowers. She had a green house built to house her prized orchid collection. She was active in numerous garden clubs throughout her life, serving as President of the Tampa Carrollwood Garden Club, a lifetime member of the Federation of Garden Clubs and permanent Board Member at the Pioneer Garden Club in Ocala. Carolyn was also an accomplished flower show judge traveling throughout central Florida.
Carolyn also excelled in needle point. In addition to creating keepsakes for her friends and family, she opened her own business – Very Personally Yours – from her Tampa home to sell crafts and yarn and give lessons to those interested in learning to needlepoint themselves.
Carolyn also loved traveling, enjoying many wonderful adventures around the world with her husband and friends. She was a devoted mother to her two children and loved her many cocker spaniel dogs over the years.
Carolyn is survived by her husband Bob, her son Nathan, daughter Betsy, and her three grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank Karen Tilton for the wonderful care she provided to Carolyn in her last years of failing health.
Visitation beginning at noon and a Celebration of Life at 1:00 pm will be held at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Ocala on Saturday March 18th at 1 PM. (Forestlawnocala.com). In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Marion County Hospice, Brandley House Hospice of Summerfield, or the Humane Society of Marion County in her name.