George Leslie “Les” Hight

Services: 10 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church building in Tucumcari. 

George Leslie “Les” Hight, long time Quay County rancher, died Monday, June 18, 2007, in Tucumcari following a brief illness.

Mr. Hight was born in Menard, Texas, on Oct. 23, 1911. He spent his childhood in the Texas hill country. He was one of 10 children born to George and Nellie Hight. At 16, he began working for a local rancher, sending most of his pay home to his parents and beginning his long history of love for ranching.

The cowboy life took him throughout the hill country and into the Texas panhandle, working for a time, from 1929 through 1933, for the famed Matador Ranch at Channing. His late brother, R.V., met and married Rozelle Brady and suggested to Les that he might be interested in Rozelle’s sister, Pauline. Over a three-month period, Les and Pauline dated three times and he proposed. In spite of his being late for every one of their three dates, she accepted, and the Menard County Judge married them on Feb. 5, 1935, Mr. Hight’s family said.

Les and Pauline raised six children:  George Jr. “G.L.,” Doris, Helen, Paul, Joan and Gerald (Jerry). The three eldest were born in Texas and the three youngest were born in Fort Sumner, N.M. after the family moved there in 1948.  In 1956, they moved to the Quay valley, and except for a short time back in Texas to care for ailing parents, he lived in Quay County until his death.

His cowboy days were his happiest and he carried his love for that way of life on into his ranching career. He loved nothing better than good friends and good Hereford cattle and stayed active ranching until a year before his death, his family said.

Mr. Hight was active in the Farm Bureau, New Mexico Cattle Growers, Mesa Redonda Cowboy Camp Meeting, Quay Fire Department and the Tucumcari Historical Society. He was a staunch supporter of Tucumcari FFA and Quay County 4-H. Neighbors knew that Les was a gifted “dowser” and water wells are being drilled to this day in places he recommended, his family said.

His wife, Pauline Brady Hight, daughter, Helen Hight Records, and a great-grandson, Matthew Collier, preceded him in death; along with brothers: Ervie Marion, R.V. and Lofton, and sisters:  Ila Mae, Lorene, Eula and Laverne.

Mr. Hight is survived by five children:  George Leslie, Jr. “G.L.” (Dahlia) Hight, Doris (Malcom) Collier , Paul (Doris) Hight , Joan (Bill) Graham  and Gerald (Lisa) Hight; 19 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; brothers: Charles and Harlan, and many other relatives.

Following the services, burial will be at the Quay Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the famil suggests donations may be made to the New Mexico Boys Ranch in his memory.

Arrangements are by Dunn Funeral Home of Tucumcari.