Gary Dean Hightower

Monday, May 9, 1966 - Friday, October 6, 2023

Will Be Deeply Missed

Photo of Gary Dean Hightower  - 1966-2023

Gary Dean Hightower, a true mountain man through and through, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep from natural causes on Friday, October 6, 2023 at the age of 57.

Born and raised in the heart of the mountains of Western North Carolina, Gary had always been a man of the soil. His roots ran deep in the Appalachian terrain and he had made his home in these hills all his life. From his earliest days Gary developed a profound love for the outdoors. Whether it was the cool mornings of hunting for deer or coon or the lazy afternoons spent by the Pigeon River fishing- Gary was happy. He was also a dedicated rockhound, spending hours scouring the hillsides for arrowheads and Gary loved searching in the dense mountain foliage for ginseng. He was also a collector of any type of “trinkets”. Gary had been employed with CP&L / Duke Energy where he retired with many years of dedicated service.

Gary’s kindness and his great love for his family will always be remembered and as Gary entered into Heaven’s gates, it is certain that he found himself now in his truest home, a glorious place of paradise, for all eternity.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ed Hightower; his paternal grandparents, Everett and Lucy Hightower and his maternal grandparents, Doc and Lula Belle Mathis Swanger.

Left to carry Gary’s precious memory in their hearts are his mother, Polly Swanger Hightower of Canton; his daughter, Amber Corn (Jesse) of Waynesville; his son, Logan Dean Hightower of Canton; a granddaughter, Skylar Corn; a sister, Lisa Gillett (Tim) of Canton; a brother, Danny Hightower of Canton; special family friends, Jimmy and Carla Reece, Darla, and Junior Messer, Steve Allen and a multitude of other special friends; also many aunts and uncles.

A funeral service to honor the life of Gary will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, October 12, 2023, in the chapel of Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service. The Reverend Nathan Martinez will be officiating. The family will be receiving friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the funeral service. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery.

Memorials may be made in Gary’s memory to the Haywood County Animal Shelter, 453 Jones Cove Road, Clyde, NC 28721.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Hightower family. 


Condolences from family and friends

The entire staff at Animal Services wishing the Hightower family peace, comfort and courage at this time of sorrow.
Haywood County Animal Services
My family sends our love and prayers to yours. He was a gentle soul. May Gary rest in our Lord's arms and may our Lord comfort and fill you with His love and peace.
Alicia White
I am sorry to hear about Gary .I have know him for all of his life.he was one of the prettiest baby I know.Polly I know you think you have lost your world...I still think about my baby if it just happen if there is any thing I can do for you are the family please let me know....I love you all.
Helen R. Caldwell.I am so so sorry
I'm so sorry to hear this Polly. Prayers for you and your family. May he rest in eternal peace
Audrey Winchester yeager
We are so sorry to hear about Garys passing and our thoughts and prayers are with all of you and if there is anything we can do please let’s know from the Clark family Laura Ann, John, Gina & Jacklyn.
Laura Ann Hightower Clark
He was a awesome friend I enjoyed the times we went hunting and fishing together!! You couldn't ask for a better friend!!
Danny Tater Owenby
Polly and family. I was saddened to hear about Gary. My thoughts and prayers are with you all .
Debra Moore