Dr. Gene Hightower 1936-2018



Dr. Gene Wesley Hightower, 81 of Van went to be with his Heavenly Father, Feb. 6, 2018. He was born in Edom on Feb. 18, 1936 to Paul and Geneva Hightower.

In 1988, he married Lana Green and they have been inseparable since. He attended Baylor University on a basketball scholarship and went on to receive his Doctor of Dental Surgery, specializing in orthodontics. After practicing in Pasadena for four years, he moved back to Van and served patients in Athens, Van, and Mabank for 33 years.

He loved his community and served in many capacities. For seven years, he served on the Board of Regents at East Texas State University.

He also served on the University of Texas at Tyler Board of Regents where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree.

He was active in the Republican Party and was on the State Republican Executive Committee for 14 years.

He also served on the Van Independent School Board for 14 years and President for seven of those years. He recently served as President of the Rhine’s Lake Association for 10 years.

His love of Longhorn Cattle was evident by his serving on the Board of Directors of The International Texas Longhorn Association and was president of the East Texas Longhorn Association.

He and Lana established G&L Cattle Company in 1994 and went on to win numerous championships on the show circuit with their cattle. He was an avid deer hunter and fisherman.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Lana; his sons, Wes (Stacy) and Barry; daughter, Amanda (Mark) Davis; stepsons Eric (Liza) and Chad (Amiee) Krisher and their families.

He also leaves behind, one sister, Mary Ann Paden, and numerous loving friends. He is survived by 18 grandchildren with the loss of an infant granddaughter, Kerrigan Davis.

Memorial donations may be made to: TLBT Bright Futures Youth Scholarship program c/o Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America - 817-625-6241

Van ISD Education Foundation– 903-963-7958

A celebration of his life will be held at a future date.