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Harry Witt Sr.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley for Harry R. Witt Sr. Internment took place at Glen Oaks Memorial Park, Veterans Section, in Chico. Mr. Witt passed away on Feb. 28. He was 87.

Mr. Witt was born on July 10, 1919, to Raymond H. Witt and Hope Kells Witt in Chico. He lived in Chico and attended school there until he transferred to Stanford for his senior year of college in order to obtain a civil engineering degree in 1942.

On July 15, 1942, Mr. Witt was commissioned as an ensign in the Civil Engineers Corps in the U.S. Navy Reserve. His first duty was the Norfolk Navy Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. He then went to the Pacific as a seabee officer on Tinian with the Marines. After returning to the states, he was sent to the Pensacola, Fla., area in January 1946. He was then stationed at Barin Field in Foley, Ala., as a public works officer in the regular Navy.



While in Foley, Mr. Witt met Dora Lee Hoffman. They were married in St. John’s Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Ala., on Aug. 11, 1946.

In the time between being stationed at Pensacola and retirement, Mr. Witt was stationed at the Quantico Amphibious School (Jr. Course); in Little Creek, Va.; in Seattle, Wash.; in Kodiak, Alaska (territory of Alaska); in Norfolk, Va.; in Kingsville, Texas; at the Washington, D.C., shipyard; in Norfolk, Va,. again; and at Lake Mead Base in Las Vegas, Nev. Mr. Witt retired on Oct. 1, 1964.




Mr. Witt’s next career began on Oct. 5, 1964, with the California State Department of Health in Berkeley.

After 22 years, he retired to the Grass Valley and Nevada City area. He and his wife built their “Mountain Cabin” between 1979 and 1980, just down the road from Hope’s former ranch. They enjoyed RVing together. During retirement, Mr. Witt was finally able to become a ham radio operator. He also enjoyed being on the Emmanuel Episcopal Church maintenance crew. He participated with all the Scout troops that his son, Rob, was a member of and was proud when Rob made Eagle.

Mr. Witt is survived by his wife of 60 “interesting” years, Dora Lee “Doe” Witt; daughters and sons-in-law Hope Kells and Joe Dennis of Pavillion, Wyo., Lee and Jim Cloud of Anchorage, Alaska, and Mary Margaret (Mimi) and Mike Westbrook of Napa; daughter-in-law, Katherine Witt of Scottsdale, Ariz.; brother, Sheldon and his wife of Sparks, Nev.; nephews Ron Witt and family of Elk Grove and Martin Kells Witt and family of Fromberg, Mont.; niece, Sharon Witt of Texas; and granddaughter, Nikki Westbrook of Napa.

Mr. Witt will be missed by Mrs. Witt’s nieces and their families and his godson, Franz F. Misch and his family of Arlington, Va.

Mr. Witt was preceded in death by his son two days earlier in Arizona; his brother, R.W. Witt, who passed away in 1972, and his brother’s wife, Joyce B. Witt, who passed in 1973; and his grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles, many of whom lived in and around Chico.

Memorial contributions can be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 235 S. Church Street, Grass Valley or to the charity of your choice. If you wish, you many simply perform a small act of kindness in Mr. Witt’s memory.


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