Robert Marshall Highsmith (Bob) was born on July 7, 1923, in Mineral Wells, Texas, to Robert Alfred and Dolly Elizabeth Highsmith. He passed away in his Las Cruces home on August 30, 2018, at the age of 95.
Growing up, Bob’s father was a First Christian minister. Because of his father’s ministry, Bob, his parents, and brother William Edward Highsmith, traveled throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas during Bob’s childhood. Bob married the love of his life, Frances Katherine Highsmith, on September 8, 1948 in Arkansas. They were married for nearly 64 years before her passing in May of 2012.
As a youngster, Bob had numerous jobs, including a projectionist at a movie theater. He attended school at Southeastern State University in Durant, Oklahoma. He enlisted in the United States Army on October 27, 1942, and served until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1967. He was in France and Germany during World War II where he was a decorated war hero in Company C, 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division. He fought in two major battles in Bannstein and Steinfeld and liberated prisoners of the Ampfing Concentration Camp. He was awarded many awards for his military service, including the Bronze Star for leading his men through a minefield, the Legion of Merit, an Army Commendation Medal, and a Good Conduct medal. After his retirement from the military, he continued to serve his country as a director of the American Red Cross. He also worked as a computer programmer at White Sands Missile Range.
Bob was a man of integrity. His moral compass was guided by the following tenets: First, and foremost, he loved God (and golf.) His Christian upbringing instilled in him an unwavering love for going to church and attending his Bible studies. Second, he loved his family (and golf,) including his furry family. He never left for a round of golf without first kissing his wife goodbye. He loved his dogs and had several sets of dachshunds, all named Danke and Bitte. At the time of his death, his fluffy companion was a Shitzu mix by the name of Miss Pretty. Third, and final, he loved his country (and golf.) When World War II broke out, he gave up his pursuits of becoming a music teacher and instead decided to dedicate his life to serving his country. To all who had the pleasure of knowing him, Bob was truly “an officer and a gentleman.”
As you may by now have surmised, Bob loved golf. Even at 95, few days went by where he didn’t play at least one hole. He won over a dozen trophies in golf, including his prized “Hole in One” trophy.
Bob’s sense of humor and wit was unparalleled. He was just as quick to tell a joke as he was to laugh at one. When asked how he wanted to die, Bob would always respond, “I want to be run over by a slow-moving glacier.”
Bob is survived by his son Robert A. Highsmith and wife Joni; daughter Daryl Grazia and husband Bob; and daughter-in-law Cindy Highsmith. He is also survived by grandchildren Lisa, Ryan, Robert, Dylan, Leslie, Ericka, Rachel, and Tom and great-grandchildren Tanner, Conner, Seth, Megan, Tommy, Michael, Ianna, Isabella, Briana, Ethan and Willow. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brother, wife, son Marshall Highsmith, and several dogs.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at Getz Funeral Home. Funeral services to celebrate his life will be at 12 pm on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at Sonoma Springs Covenant Church. A burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The honor of being a pallbearer goes to members of Bob's family and cherished neighbor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sonoma Springs Covenant Church, the American Red Cross, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Veteran’s Administration, or the Humane Society.