Obituary – Highfill, Lowell Clark

Class of 1939

1939 Graduation Edition
Perry Daily JournalLowell C. Highfill
Lowell C. Highfill

- is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Highfill of Perry. He has been employed during his school days at the Perry Greenhouse and at the Apache Gas Company. He intends to go to some college or university. He is a mechanic by hobby. He was on the poultry judging team of the F.F.A. for three years. He was born near Stillwater and attended schools in Cherokee as well as in Perry.

Lowell Clark Highfill

February 17, 1920 – August 4, 1968

Lowell attended the first year of school in a rural school nearby. The next year, his parents moved to Perry, where he graduated from high school in 1939. He worked during his high school years in the wheat harvest, on a pipeline in the oil field and in the Perry Greenhouse.

He was a member of the National Guard, serving as a station wagon driver in Battery C, 158th Field Artillery, 45th Division. He attended one semester at Oklahoma A&M (now OSU). The National Guard was mobilized in 1940 and he was sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. When the unit was sent to Camp Barkley, Texas near Abilene, he married Mildred Hensley.

When their son Kenneth was born, Battery C adopted him as their mascot and gave the proud father a pink and blue baby shower.

Lowell went to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where he obtained a discharge in order to enlist in the Air Force. He received his wings and temporary rank as Second Lieutenant on March 20, 1943, in Houston, Texas.

He was sent to the brand new school at Frederick, Oklahoma, where he trained student pilots in AT-17s.

Early in 1944, Lowell went to Midland Air Field at Midland, Texas, a school for Bomberdeers, where he flew planes used in this training.

He was sent to Forth Worth to train in B-24s and then to Lincoln, Nebraska, to pick up his crew. Before this was accomplished the B-29s replaced the B-24s and he was transferred to Barksdale Field, Shrevesport, Louisiana. Training with this crew on a B-29 was nearly completed when the war ended.

After being honorably discharged, Lowell, with his wife and 2 small sons, hooked the house trailer he owned to the back of his 1939 Ford and went 25 miles before the back springs of the car collapsed. A piece of angle iron welded to the frame solved the problem but the car always rode like a lumber wagon. They came back to Noble County and settled on a farm northwest of Morrison.

Lowell, along with his farming, also baled hay, delivered mail, combined wheat – he took his combines one year to Idaho on the harvest run, and as a “rough-neck”, he worked on a drilling rig in the oil field.

He also worked as a flight instructor at Oklahoma State University for 5 years. In 1960, the family moved to 901 Fir Street, Perry, Oklahoma. They bought and completely remodeled this home.

Six months prior to moving to Perry, Lowell started to work for Charles Machine Works as a District Representative on the sales force. Lowell and Millie were members of the First Presbyterian church at Perry.

Following his death, an award, called the Lowell Highfill award, was set up and is given each year by Charles Machine Works to the outstanding Ditch Witch Salesman in the United States.

-from The History of Noble County, Oklahoma. The Noble County Genealogy Society, 1987.