Cameron Hightower was born on July 7, 1937 in Liberty to Opal and Tommy Hightower. He passed away in Houston on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the age of 82.
Cameron was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary Nan Davis; and his nephew, Kevin Hightower. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Gentempo and brother-in-law Joe Gentempo; his brother, Thomas B. Hightower and sister-in-law Sarah Hightower; as well as his nieces and nephews, Lynn Davis, Katie Gentempo, Tom Gentempo, Jeff Hightower and Joe Gentempo; along with 11 great-nieces and nephews. He was a loving son, brother and uncle who will be dearly missed.
Cameron Hightower was a sixth generation lawyer in a family which has produced a large number of lawyers going back to the American Revolution, some of whom served in the Texas Legislature, the U.S. Congress, and in judicial positions at every level from the county court to the Texas Supreme Court.
Cameron was born and raised in a large family that valued education, independent thought, and public service. He was proud to grow up in the close knit community of Liberty, surrounded by parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins all of whom had a positive impact on his childhood and throughout his life. His passion for books and knowledge became his pathway to the future. Upon graduating from Liberty High School he attended the University of Texas at Austin where he completed both his undergraduate and law school studies.
During his years at the University of Texas at Austin, Cameron excelled academically and served as student body president. He was a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude graduate in the Plan II advanced liberal arts program. He was a member of six academic honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa, was a national debate champion, and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He was a member of the University‘s Friar Society, an organization he participated in until his death.
After receiving his law license, Cameron practiced law in Liberty and its surrounding counties. His admiration of the law and politics led him to run for political office. In 1964, Cameron was elected as a representative to the Texas House for the 59th Legislative Session. After serving in the Texas Legislature, Cameron returned to his law practice which he expanded to cover Houston.
He appreciated art, theater and opera and while in Houston was active in charitable organizations and community-based programs, especially those involving the Arts. This led Cameron to work on the initial board of the celebrated Theater Under the Stars and to serve as its first board president.
In 1987, Cameron relocated to Seattle, Washington, to take a position at Shoreline College as Executive Director of the college’s development office. While at Shoreline College, Cameron became associated with the “People to People” organization which promoted citizen ambassador projects throughout the world. As an ambassador with “People to People” Cameron was able to fulfill his lifelong love of travel and adventure. He traveled all over Europe and Asia and led at least 20 trips to foreign countries that included China, India and Russia, where he met a number of foreign dignitaries, including President Lech Walesa of Poland, Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta (formerly Mother Teresa).
In 2006 Cameron retired from Shoreline College and returned to Texas, where he enjoyed his occasional pro bono legal services, before he eventually returned to his starting place of private practice and joined The Opande Law Firm in 2016 as senior attorney in their litigation department. It was a position he greatly enjoyed until the time of his recent illness and hospitalization.
Cameron was well known for his sharp wit, humor and brilliant mind. A lifelong learner and scholar of history, he was a voracious reader and an eloquent writer. He was rarely seen without a book in hand, engrossed for hours on end. Those who knew him best will remember his gift for storytelling and larger than life personality. He loved the law, politics and the democratic process. Above all, he loved his family and especially relished time spent with family and close friends enjoying lively conversation and debate on all manner of subjects. He lived a full life, at his own pace and purpose. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Mass and memorial service will be conducted for Robert Cameron Hightower at the Immaculate Conception Church, 4511 Milam Street in Liberty at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22. A graveside service and committal will follow at Liberty Catholic Cemetery in Liberty. Immediately following, all are invited to a reception at the Parish Hall at Immaculate Conception Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Cameron’s memory to The Dominican Sisters of Houston, 6501 Almeda Rd., Houston TX 77021 or charity of your choice.