On October 26, 1939, Mary Nell made her entrance into the world with her twin sister, Jewel Dell to the late Fred and Alice Jewel Lovelace. After the death of her mother, the girls were raised by their aunt, Bill & Beatrice Kimble in Alabama City.
At an early age she confessed faith in Jesus Christ and was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Alabama City, serving under Rev. E.L. Gary, Rev. S.L. Woods and Rev. John Woods, Sr.
Mary received her education in the Gadsden City Public School System. Graduating in 1957 from Carver High School, Mary loved her alma mater and was very instrumental in alumni and class reunion planning and activities. Upon graduating high school, she enrolled in Alabama A&M University. After attending her freshman year, while home for the summer, she met the love of her life, the late Clarence C. Hightower.
Mary and Clarence were united in holy matrimony on June 13, 1959. To this union, three children were born, Clarence “Chico” Jr, Michael “Boo Boo”, and Timothy “Timmy.”
Life with Aunt Beatrice was centered around the church. First Baptist Church was the way of life for Mary & Jewell. Mary loved playing the piano and singing as a young adult and served as the Missionary Society president. She also served as secretary to the moderator of the Wills Creek District for several years. Mary was formerly a substitute teacher for Gadsden and Attalla city schools. She worked as a secretary for Protective Life Insurance Company until early retirement. After retirement, she was committed to serving her family and the church. Mary was very active in the Gadsden Community, serving as a faithful voter poll worker for her district for many years. She had recently completed training for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Mary was a very good cook and loved entertaining church members, classmates, and family/friends in her home. Mary and Clarence were always very loving and giving people making their house a home of joy and laughter. They touched the lives of so many during their lifetime.
Mary departed this life on September 15, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Sr.; son, Clarence Jr.; granddaughter, Destiny Nicole; four brothers, Howard Kimble, Harold Kimbrough, Charles Lovelace, Robert Lovelace; sisters-in-law, Marie Kimble, Cathryn Lovelace, Margarite Hightower.
Her memories are left to be cherished by her devoted and loving sons: Michael Craig Hightower, Sr. and Timothy Glenn Hightower; one granddaughter, Jasmine Jacquette Hightower; one grandson, Michael Craig Hightower, Jr.; great-grandson, Quintez Mychael Hightower; sisters, Jewell (Percy) Hall, Beatrice Gatewood, Detroit, MI; brother-in-law, Glenn Hightower, Lancaster, California; god daughter, Candi Cylar, Smyrna, GA; chosen daughters, Crystal Cylar, Kewanee (Craig) Dudley, Kemely Johnson; chosen grandchildren, Cali Cylar, Christopher Dudley; chosen sister, Diann (Frank) Cylar; special cousin, Mary Lee Castleberry and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, and many dear friends that she loved dearly.
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