Monday, October 21, 2013
Inspiring One Family's Legacy
On May 7, 2013, NPH lost a dear friend to all of our children. Fr. O. L. (Lee) Hightower was a longtime friend and supporter of NPH for more than 20 years. He was an intelligent and caring person and pastor, who received both a Masters (in Linguistics) and Doctorate (in Philosophy and Theology). He was an accomplished teacher and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the army as a military chaplain. Fr. Lee also served as pastor of St. John Bosco Church in Lakewood, Washington for ten years and recently celebrated 50 years as a priest. Through the years, Fr. Lee supported many of our children as a godparent, most recently sponsoring 3 children in Mexico and 3 in Haiti. In addition, Fr. Lee helped his family start a longtime connection to NPH that has grown through the years. His niece Christina spent a year volunteering at our home in Honduras, and his nephew Craig (who later became a Jesuit priest and active ambassador of NPH) volunteered as our school principal in Haiti. Fr. Lee was even able to travel to visit the home in Haiti in 1993. Most recently, Fr. Lee’s great-niece Molly was a volunteer working with children with disabilities and special needs in Haiti, when she was killed during the 2010 earthquake. Many of Fr. Lee’s family members, including his brother, his nieces and nephews, and his great-nieces and nephews have continued the Hightower family’s commitment and generosity toward NPH and our children. After his death, NPH learned that Fr. Lee had included NPH in his will, and we recently received his contribution of more than $80,000! Fr. Lee’s ongoing sponsorship of our children and his generous legacy gift is a profound example of what one person can do to transform the lives of children in need. Because of his support, hundreds of children who have been orphaned or abandoned have been fed, clothed, and received the health care and education they needed to become healthy, happy, and successful in life. We are so grateful to Fr. Lee and the rest of the Hightower family for their friendship, love and support through the years.