Lanett resident honored by city on her 94th birthday

Published 10:01 am Friday, September 9, 2022

LANETT — Proclamations have been presented to a Lanett woman who recently celebrated her 94th birthday and to a group of Lanett Senior Center participants who recently made a good showing in the District Masters Games in Valley.

The presentations took place at the Tuesday evening meeting of the Lanett City Council. Both proclamations were signed by Mayor Jamie Heard, attested to by City Clerk/Treasurer Deborah Gilbert and unanimously approved by the Lanett City Council.

Mrs. Hattie Olivia Hightower is the woman honored. She was born on Aug. 23, 1928, and has spent most of her life in the Lanett area. She’s the proud mother of eight children, grandmother to 23, great-grandmother to 55 and great-great-grandmother to 18. She’s a long-time faithful member of the Evening Spring Baptist Church, just west of Lanett on Providence Road. For many years, she has delighted fellow church members with her beautiful singing voice. She serves on the church’s Board of Ushers.

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“Mrs. Hattie enjoys reading the Bible, playing Bingo and painting,” the proclamation reads. “In the past couple of years alone, she has done more than 20 artworks. Her greatest enjoyment comes from spending time with her family. They absolutely adore her.”

Mrs. Hattie was beaming with joy with the recognition. 

“I have really enjoyed life for all of my 94 years,” she said. “I have been blessed to have had good friends and neighbors. It means so much to me to have many of my family members here with me today. I have always loved being in Lanett. It has been my home for most of my life.”

Lanett Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton and Recreation Director Trent McCants presented her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. 

“When we were growing up in Lanett, Mrs. Hattie wasn’t just a good mother to her children, she was also a good second mother to all us kids in the neighborhood,” Thornton said. “I loved hearing her beautiful voice in church. We thank you, Mrs. Hattie, for being a participant in our senior center program.”

“I love being a participant. The food is so good,” Mrs. Hattie said with some good-natured laughter.

Thornton said she was proud of the way her seniors participated in the recent District Masters Games held at Valley Community Center.

”They enjoyed it so much, and they came back with lots of medals,” she said.

Among the events were basketball free throws, shuffleboard and dominoes.

The Masters Games of Alabama is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles for active adults who are 50 years of age and older. The first Alabama Masters Games took place in Oxford in 1989. Since then, these Games have provided an Olympic-style atmosphere with the primary focus being on having fun and fellowship. Each year there are between 600 and 800 participants from across the state participating in the State Games. Valley Community Center has been the host site on several occasions.

The Lanett seniors wore their teal and white Masters Games t-shirts to the council meeting. In huge letters on the back of the shirt was the motto: “Smile, Laugh and Love.”