Colleen Hightower, 73, of Franklin, WI, passed Friday, April 23, 2021, in her home surrounded by love and family. She had a courageous battle against cancer where she stayed strong and independent up until the end. Colleen was born March, 27, 1948, to the late Nancy (Koinm) and William Carter in Houston, TX and is preceded in death by the love of her life, soulmate and husband of 44 years, Ronald Ed Hightower. She is survived by her children and grandchildren Shayla Menard (Sheridan and her fiancé Dylan Shaw, Shelby, and Sheldon), of Kuna, ID, Shauna Pembo and husband Mike (Mikayla and Gage) of Marrero, LA, and Shani Slaughter (Stephan, Dustin, Jessie, and Skye) of Colorado Springs, CO. She also leaves behind her beloved grandson Jeremy Parrish and wife Lisa of Trophy Club, TX, and her only great-granddaughter Claire. Colleen will be dearly missed by her beloved life-long family friends Alice Ballard, husband Chris, and their children Jacob and Colbie whom she considered grandchildren. As well as Thorsten Nassauer, his wife Anja and their daughter Carolina who took her in as family during her time in Germany.
Colleen’s family was her greatest joy, especially her grandchildren, but she also loved traveling around the country and world. She was an avid nature explorer, fiction reader, movie watcher, and animal lover. She always made time for conversations full of laughs, wisdom, and rants when you needed them.
Colleen was an employee of the US Government whose career was a total of 32 years with the last 17 years were with the forest service and included assignments in Texas, Louisiana, Germany, Utah, Idaho, and Wisconsin. She truly never worked a day in her life because she was surrounded by colleagues she was blessed to have called her friends. She was a natural born leader and served as a great mentor and friend for those in need.
Her family would like to express their gratitude to each one of her healthcare providers for their tireless efforts to maintain her health, autonomy, and dignity throughout her journey. As well as a very special thank-you to Dr. Manish Pant, MD and Dr. Scott Kamelle, MD for their incredible care for Colleen and always doing what was in her best interest for how she wanted to live her life. They not only gave her more time with her family and friends, but also preserved her life to the fullest.
Her family will be holding a personal memorial service for immediate family members in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, they request that you consider donating to either the Lymphoma Leukemia Society of Wisconsin or the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee to help others in need.