Fred Arthur Witter, age 95, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2019. He was born in Wayne County on September 20, 1923, the son of Arthur and Gertie Witter. He married Mary Ruth Webb on April 8, 1951. They enjoyed 64 years of marriage before Mary Ruth’s death in 2016.
Fred was preceded in death by Mary Ruth, both parents, brothers: Marshall, Clyde, Arles, sister, Lois Kelley, and nephew, Donald Kelley. Homer Buchanan, a maternal uncle from Wayne County, also preceded him in death.
He is survived by his daughters, Ruth Kiser (and husband Daniel) of Hickory, NC, and Lois Witter of McLeansboro; two granddaughters, Elizabeth Taylor (and husband Jason) and Marlys Kiser, both of Hickory, NC. Five nieces, three nephews and their families also survive.
Fred grew up on his family’s farm in Wayne County / Aden community. He attended Ellis Mound School with his siblings. He began service in the U.S. Army in 1944 at the rank of Private, and by the end of his service had risen to the rank of Tech 4, a rank used only during WWII. Mr. Witter served in the Pacific Theater: the Philippines and Occupied Japan, having seen active combat in the Battle of Luzon. He was recognized for his exemplary service with the Battle of Luzon Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with Bronze Battle Star, Philippines Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Battle Star, and Victory Medal.
Fred and Mary Ruth raised their two daughters on their farm east of McLeansboro. Fred was a charter member of the Hamilton County Rotary Club and a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church.
Since Mary Ruth’s death he has been lovingly cared for in his home by daughter, Lois. He looked so forward to the birth of his first great granddaughter in July of this year. However, he has been called away. He will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be at Gholson Funeral Home in McLeansboro on Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The memorial service will be at 2 p.m. at Gholson Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Reed officiating with interment to follow at Garrison Cemetery in Hamilton County. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church in McLeansboro and will be accepted at the Gholson Funeral Home, which is in charge of all the arrangements.
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