Mr. Leonard Estill Hignite
GREENVILLE — Mr. Leonard Estill Hignite, 85, died after a brief illness Friday, September 28, 2007, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
The funeral service will be conducted Sunday at 2:30 in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel. A Graveside service with full Military Honors will follow in Homestead Memorial Gardens.
Len was born January 22, 1922, in Mckee, Kentucky into a loving family of nine. All preceded him in death except his brother, Earl, of Connersville, Indiana, and sister, Esther Bach, of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
He was a gifted athlete who excelled in basketball and tennis, ranked nationally until his death.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. during WWII, receiving numerous awards and decorations during close combat operations in GuadalCanal and Guam. He completed his military service assigned to the U. S. Embassy in China.
He met the love of his life, Carol Eubanks, while stationed at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, MCAS. They enjoyed 63 years of marriage.
Returning to Indiana after WWII, Len began his career as an Insurance Executive with Metropolitan Life, and later, Life of Virginia. Upon his retirement, he began a successful career as a real estate developer and broker.
Len’s legacy is his family. He set the example of Christian ethics and courage. When he walked into a room, his smile got there first.
Len served as past President of the Jaycees, Greenville Exchange Club and cherished his Golden K Kiwanis Club. He loved his tennis associates, N.C. Senior Game competitions and Sunday school class. He was a member and past deacon for 43 years of The Memorial Baptist Church. He received NC’s highest award, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine and Kentucky’s highest honor, The Kentucky Colonel for his lifetime of civic and charitable work.
Len is survived by his: wife, Carol Eubanks Hignite; sons, Ronald E. Hignite, of Ahoskie, NC, Col (R) AUS Baron G. Hignite and wife, Ellen, of Raleigh, NC, Darrell K. Hignite and wife, Janet, of Greenville NC, and Randy Hignite, of Engelhard, NC; daughter, Beth Hignite Carter and husband, LTC (R) USAF Donald, of Yorktown, VA; 10 grandchildren; and nine great- grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Wilkerson Funeral Home.
.In lieu of flowers the family request memorial contributions be made to: The Memorial Baptist Church, Building Fund, 1510 SE Greenville Blvd., Greenville, NC 27858.
The family thanks the doctors, nurses, and staff of ICU, and Focus Care at Pitt County Memorial Hospital for their assistance and compassion.