Frances (Frankie) Hightower, 96 - Travelers Rest

Frances (Frankie) Ruby Phillips Hightower, 96, widow of William K. Hightower Jr., left her earthly home early Saturday morning on October 16, 2021. A daughter of the late Elford E. Phillips and Harriett C. Marchbanks Phillips, she was born on October 5, 1925, in Greenville, SC.

A member of Reedy River Baptist Church, Frankie was an accomplished musician. She taught piano and played for countless weddings, celebrations, and funerals which spanned for over eight decades. Having first played for a church service at the age of 12, she served many years as organist at Reedy River Baptist Church. She was a member of the Esther Sunday School Class at her church.

Along with her late husband, she operated William K. Hightower Insurance Agency from 1957 to 2014.

Frankie founded Friends of the Cemetery of Reedy River Baptist Church and tirelessly promoted the cemetery’s significance.

She was a member of Greenville Chapter 51 UDC on the record of her grandfather, Peter C. Marchbanks, Co. A 3rd Palmetto Battalion SC Light Artillery and Reedy River Falls Chapter, Colonial Dames XVII Century on the record of her sixth great-grandfather Robert Wynne, member of the House of Burgess 1658, Speaker, 1662-1674.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband William K. Hightower, Jr., her son William K. Hightower, III (Kin), sisters Margaret P. Hawkins, Helen P. Jenkins, Hazel P. Addis, and brothers Dean, Gilbert, Roy and Alvin Phillips.

Frankie is survived by her daughter Carol H. Leake and her husband S. Michael Leake of Fountain Inn; sister Birdie P. Harmon of Greenville; granddaughter Annette Hightower; grandsons Brian Hightower (Jennifer), Sam Leake (Jessica), Mitch Leake (Crystal); great grandchildren Kelsey H. Kenyon (Nick), Jackson Hightower, Grayson Hightower, Alexandria Henson, Michaela Henson, Anson Leake, Julianne Leake, Jude Leake, Catherine Leake, Andrew Leake and Elizabeth Grace Leake.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 23, at noon at Reedy River Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. William J. Slatten, followed by burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be prior to the service from 10:30am - 11:45am in the Adult Assembly Room.

Pallbearers are Mike Leake, Sam Leake, Mitch Leake, Brian Hightower, Jackson Hightower and Grayson Hightower. Honorary escorts are Esther Sunday School Class of Reedy River Baptist Church and SC Division UDC and CofC.

Memorials can be made to Reedy River Baptist Church Cemetery Maintenance Fund, c/o Reedy River Baptist Church, 871 N. Highway 25 Bypass, Greenville, SC 29617 or Miracle Hill Ministries, PO Box 2546, Greenville, SC 29602.

Online condolences may be expressed here.

The Howze Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.