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Hugh E. Witt


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Date published: 5/23/2014

Hugh E. Witt

Hugh E. Witt passed away Sunday, May 18, 2014, at his home in Chancellor's Village. After a long and eventful 92 years he expired peacefully with his stepdaughter beside him. As hospice had been a help to him with end of life care for both his wives, so did they help ease his way.

Mr. Witt was born Nov. 18, 1921, in Winchester, Ky., to Hugh and Louella Witt, the second of two children. He and his sister, Anna Pierce, attended Transylvania College until he transferred to the University of Kentucky. A severe medical condition kept him out of World War II, but he would use his education and business skills in service to the Pentagon.

Witt rose through the ranks of government service on his way to becoming the highest-ranking civilian at the Pentagon. Along the way, he attended M.I.T. getting a master's degree from the prestigious Sloan School of Management under his mentor, George Shultz. His talent for debate and public speaking made him a favorite choice for testifying on behalf of the Armed Forces before various sub-committees of Congress, which he did more than 200 times.

Following a short stint in the Office of Management and Budget, a presidential appointment by Gerald Ford, Witt moved into the private sector and accepted a job as an executive vice president of United Technologies. He stayed with U.T. until his retirement in 1986.

Hugh and his wife Janie lived many years in Old Town Alexandria, where they contributed time and energy to historical organizations and architectural review boards. He nursed her through the illness that finally claimed her life.

Some years later, he married Evelyn Chapman, with whom he traveled and settled into a loving retirement. After her death, Witt moved to Chancellor's Village, where he could be near his two Fredericksburg nephews and their families. During his residence in Chancellor's Village, he charmed his fellow residents with his sense of fun and seemingly endless repertoire of jokes.

He is survived by his nephews, Robert Lowry and Hugh Lowry and wife Merri Glover; his nieces, Patricia DeVylder and Stephanie Heneghan and husband Michael; his stepdaughter, Sharon Chapman Graham; and numerous grand- and great-grandnieces and -nephews.

A service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg.

Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to Capital Caring Hospice, 950 N. Glebe Road, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22203.

Online guest book is available at covenantfuneralser vice.com.