Robert E. Hightower

Published 7:56 am Friday, August 31, 2012

May 7, 1934 –

Aug. 21, 2012

Robert E. Hightower, 78, of Marietta, Ga., died Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.

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Memorial services were held Saturday, Aug. 25, at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta with Rev. Adrian Pleus, Rev. Scotty Davis and Dr. Ernest Easley officiating.

Mr. Hightower was born May 7, 1934, in Havana, Fla. He entered the U.S. Navy in January 1952 and served as a member of Underwater Demolition Teams 2 and 21. He worked with the FBI for about a year and served with the metropolitan Washington, D.C., police department, for almost seven years.

He came to Georgia in 1963, working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for about nine years. He was appointed as the Public Safety Director of the Cobb County Police Department in 1972, and became the first director over the Cobb County Department of Public Safety in 1993. Retiring from Cobb County in May 1999, he accepted an appointment from Gov. Roy Barnes as Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol.

In 2000, Hightower was appointed to the newly-created position of Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

In late 2001, he became the first Chairman of the Georgia Homeland Security Task Force as part of his duties and served Gov. Barnes in these positions until March 2003.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Navy Seal Foundation, 1619D Street, Bldg. 5326, Virginia Beach, VA 23459 or to the Navy Seal Museum, 3300 North Hwy. A1A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34949.

Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home & Crematory in Marietta was in charge of the arrangements.