April 28, 2014

William Gary “Bill” Witt

— Funeral services for William Gary “Bill” Witt, of Alex,will be 10 a.m., Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Alex United Methodist Church.

William Gary “Bill” Witt was born July 23, 1930 in Bucklin, Missouri to Lora Lucas Witt and Albert Granville Witt.  He departed this life on April 27, 2014 at his home in Alex at the age of 83.

Bill started school at a rural one-room school a mile from his home at the age of four and graduated from Bucklin High School, Bucklin, MO in 1947 at the age of 16.  He started helping his mother milk cows and maintain the farm while his dad worked on the railroad.  In 1951 he entered the Army and served in the Korean War on Heartbreak Ridge in the heavy mortar division.  He was discharged in 1953 as a Sergeant and served with the Missouri National Guard until 1960.  Bill was very proud of his military service and was a continuous member of the American Legion for 59 years.

Upon his release from the Army, he bought a farm a mile from his parents place and began farming and working full time at Chariton Valley Telephone Co-op in Bucklin until the mid 1970’s, at which time he went to work for Stake Brothers Telephone Construction Company.  He traveled and worked in many locations with this job.  From his accomplishments and knowledge of the various aspects of the telephone industry, he was offered a job with 3M in St. Paul, MN as a field service technologist.  He traveled the U.S. and overseas educating 3M customers in the use of 3M tools and parts in their telephone operations.  He began working for 3M in 1979.

In 1981, he and Nancy Lents Witt were married in Chickasha.  They made their home in Minnesota until Dec., 1985, when they were transferred with the whole telecommunications division to 3M’s new branch facility in Austin, Texas.

While employed with 3M, Bill earned many accomplishments.  The main two being the First Step Award and being on a team that invented a part used in splicing telephone cable, for which they each received a U.S. patent.  Bill took early retirement from 3M in 1991 but continued doing contract work for them for about four years so he could spend more time with his family.  He also worked for his son, Greg, who owned a telephone company in Missouri and enjoyed getting to work with him and his grandson and their friends, whom all adopted him as their Grandpa.

After he finally retired, Bill helped out on the family farm west of Alex.  He and Nancy enjoyed water sports, dancing, traveling, antiquing and Chris’ sports and activities from t-ball to high school football and showing cattle and hogs.  Until his health began to fail, he helped Nancy run Nancy’s Mercantique.  He especially enjoyed going to market and selling Beanie Babies.  His customers became his friends and would often drop in just to visit and say “Hello”.

Bill was a member of the Alex United Methodist Church, a member of the Lindsay American Legion, the Bucklin Alumni Assn., National Telephone Cooperative Association and also a member of the Missouri Farmers Association

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Lora and Albert Witt; a brother, Deane Witt; two special uncles, Bud Lucas and Johnny Witt and special aunt, Marie Helton and his mother and father-in-law, Alice Mae and Bowman Lents.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, of the home; sister, Marilyn Williams and her husband, Frank, of Bucklin, MO; sister-in-law, Lou Witt of Mazon, IL; four sons: Steve Witt and his wife, Cathie, of New Boston, MO, Greg Witt and his wife, Donna, of Bevier, MO, Chris Witt and his wife, Chancey, of Alex; step-son, Adam Lents Brown of Alex; daughter, Nancy Lynn Dauber of Germany; grandchildren: Anthony and Heather Witt of Macon, MO; Jeremy and Nikki Witt of Bevier, MO; Josh Dauber of Japan; Joe Dauber of Bucklin, MO and Eastn Witt, of Alex; nine great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews; also he and Nancy’s traveling partner, Shirley Taylor, their all-around helper and friend, Linda Lane and his faithful fur buddy, Max, his schnauzer.

Interment will be in the Ninnekah Cemetery, Ninnekah, with military honors under the direction of Sevier Funeral Home, Chickasha.


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