Glenn Hightower — the educator, coach, church and civic volunteer, and avid athlete — died on January 1, 2017.
Today — nearly a year later — friends and family members remembered him at one of his favorite spots. “06880” reader Tom Kretsch reports:
Despite frigid temperatures, a warm group gathered at the former Bedford Middle School on Riverside Avenue (now Saugatuck Elementary School).
They unveiled a plaque mounted on a bench along the track where Glenn spent many hours coaching, running and leading his school community.
His daughters Heather, Holly and Julie were there with their families. After brief remarks by fellow runner Pat Kennedy, Holly read a poem — “Success,” often attributed to Emerson — that was always on Glenn’s desk.
Then — spontaneously — others spoke about personal experiences with Glenn as a runner, parent, colleague or friend. Heather led the group in singing “Amazing Grace,” followed by a prayer from United Methodist Church minister Ed Horne.
Now, as people visit PJ Romano Field to exercise or watch their children play, they will pass this simple bench with a wonderful tribute to a true community leader.
Heather, Julie and Holly Hightower, on their father’s bench.
He was a Westport school system administrator, softball coach, United Methodist Church parishioner, Rotarian, Westport Weston Family YMCA volunteer, and competitive handball and basketball player.
He was also the longtime principal of Bedford Junior High and Middle Schools (when they were on Riverside Avenue), and an avid runner.
Those last 2 accomplishments converge this Wednesday (December 27, 12 noon). A bench and plaque will be dedicated in his name — at the school he served for so many years. Hightower’s many friends and fans are invited to the ceremony, at the side parking lot closest to the track entrance.
The project was financed by private donations, and Westport Athletic Club members. Hightower completed 16 New York City marathons, and 10 ultra-marathons.
He often ran to raise money for charity. Now, funds have been donated to remember this very giving man.
Glenn Hightower (front row, 2nd from right, yellow cap) joined Westport Athletic Club members for a Saturday morning run in the late1980s — at the home of a sleeping-fellow member (in pajamas at left). Longtime Westporter Patrick Kennedy says the tradition was to run to radio station WMMM, on Main Street over Oscar’s. Runners then sang carols on the air.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome — and appreciated! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to “06880” c/o Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Or use Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Or Zelle: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)