Eldon Paul (E.P.) Hight Obit

 

E.P. Hight passed away peacefully at his home in Chetek, Wis. on Nov. 3, 2020.

E.P. was born to Nell (Fox) and Allen Hight in Elmwood, Wis., on June 6, 1931. He grew up in Elmwood and graduated from high school there in 1949.

E.P. attended River Falls University, graduating in 1953. While doing his practice teaching in his hometown, he met the love of his life, Esther (Tess) Mercer, who was teaching in Elmwood. They were married on June 7, 1953, in Wadena, Minn.

Following his marriage, E.P. was drafted for a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. While stationed at Fort Riley, their first child (Patricia) was born. Eighteen months later their second child (Barry) was born in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Upon his discharge from the military, E.P. began his teaching career at Elmwood High School. He also coached football and baseball. His son (Terry) was born in January of 1957. That same year, E.P. accepted a teaching and coaching position at Chetek High School. Carl Gerber, superintendent at Chetek, told E.P. that he would be a successful coach (especially in baseball) as a young pitcher by the name of Dennis Overby would be on his team. This proved to be correct as his team was very successful, going to the state tournament in his second year. E.P. also took over the head coaching duties in football, as they switched from eight-man to a regular 11-man format. E.P. also started the wrestling program in the Chetek School District. E.P. had never seen a wrestling match before he became Chetek’s head coach. He took several Chetek wrestlers to State, including the current Chetek-Weyerhaeuser head wrestling coach, Bob Olson.

E.P. started officiating football, basketball, wrestling and baseball in 1949. He refereed for over 40 years and has said his greatest moment came in 1976 when he and his refereeing team were chosen to accompany the two top Division II college teams to play the first American football exhibition in Europe. Refereeing in Olympic stadiums in Berlin and Paris was a great accomplishment in his officiating career.

E.P. and Tess were both very active in the Chetek United Methodist Church. E.P. served on the Barron County Board of Supervisors for 12 years.

E.P. loved his family and his grandchildren. He loved to fly fish for bluegills and also liked to golf. E.P. and Tess enjoyed traveling and went to Europe twice and spent nine winters in Alice, Texas, and made many more lifelong friends there.

He was preceded in death by his wife Tess; his daughter Patti; his parents, Allen and Nell; and his brother, Dale.

He is survived by his sons, Barry (Valerie) Hight and Terry Hight; son-in-law, Mark Gilberts; and by his grandchildren, Megan (John) DeMotte, Matthew (Stephanie) Gilberts, Brittany (Bryan) Hight, Jelen and Shannon Hight; great-grandchildren, Noah, Levi and Andrew DeMotte and Zachary Gilberts.

The family is postponing a memorial service until next summer when hopefully the pandemic danger has passed. At that time, E.P. will be interred next to his wife, Tess at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery, in Spooner, Wis.

Memories and condolences to the family may be sent to: P.O Box 607, Chetek WI 54728.

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