• HARPER-MORRIS MEMORIAL CHAPEL
    PENSACOLA, FL
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James Witt 1929 - 2014

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James Witt

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December 25, 2014
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December 25, 2014
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May 01, 2014
I was once a student of Dr. Witts at UWF back in 1998-2001. I always fondly remembered him and his ornery ways. I'll never forget him for both the energy he put into our lectures (even at 8am!!) and how he was incredibly funny, even if he wasn't trying!
He had a great deal to do with how my love for Political Science developed.
I'm very saddened by his passing and send my condolences to his loved ones.
April 26, 2014
Dearest Family of Dr. Witt--Please excuse me for taking this long to write. I, too, wish to offer my deepest condolences to your family on the death of your beloved husband and father. What stood out to me in the obituary was that you quoted the kindest "boss" I ever had--VP for Academic Affairs, the late Dr. Arthur Doerr. Obviously, he and Dr. Witt were great friends and colleagues. Dr. Witt was also a friend to Dr. Doerr's Admistrative Assistant, Mrs. Evelyn Grosse (my Supervisor) and he visited our office all the time. He was a joy to have around with his amazing personality. Even though it is a time of sorrow for you, I love reading all of the kind and insightful remembrances from his friends, former students and colleagues. Thank you again for quoting my beloved Dr. Doerr's essay in the obituary and blessings to you always.
April 02, 2014
I enjoyed working with Jim Witt over the past 30 years at UWF. He was influential in helping us acquire some major research collections such as the papers of Congressman Bob Sikes, also the papers of Art Doerr, Provost Emeritus of UWF. Our archival collections on the people of West Florida abound with other examples of people and politicians whose history, legacy, and papers we've been able to preserve because Jim sent them this way. His Dirksen-Taft Institute was a crown jewel for UWF and just one of his creative endeavors that helped UWF, its students, and our reputation in the state. My condolences to his wife and family; I'm glad I got to know this man!
April 02, 2014
It was in the early '80's that I came to know Dr. Witt. Like Dr. Witt, I had also worked in law enforcement but was moving on to the business world after obtaining a graduate degree at UWF. Sharing a bit of common background, we bonded.

As I look back from a subsequent career in the business world, I find that most American business people do not grasp the nexus between those worlds; the world of the courts and of the street, and the world of business. Where business people see balance sheets and income statements, the people Witt got to know do not exist, because they are first and foremost not customers. Those who run companies see only the effect, which is no money to buy their products. They do not see the causes; a poor educational system, lack of good jobs, and a decent chance in life. And they do not care because in many cases they have their own schools, housing, transportation, and security systems. In essence, they live a separate existence.

But Dr. Witt did. Dr. Witt sent people into the world to make a difference. To be sure, he was not a '60's bleeding heart liberal; anything but that. The message was personal responsibility but with a hand up in the form of things like good schools, a sense of community and a vibrant economy, not a hand out. Those days are over. You are now on your own, alone in a global crowd and unprepared for tomorrow.

Moreover, if the economic ladder still exists, then some of the rungs are surely missing. Unable to make the climb up that ladder, already fragile relationships crumble under the pressure to succeed. Although not himself a business person, Dr. Witt saw what frequently happens next because he understood the world of the courts, and of the street. Dr. Witt will be sorely missed.
March 31, 2014
The McGovern's of Seattle learned of Jim's passing over the weekend after speaking with my mother Joan. We share in the Witt families' grief and send our condolences. We are praying for the repose of Jim's soul and that his family members' grieving can be lessened by the teachings of our Lord Jesus' plans for Jim and for us in eternity.
My parents were good friends with Jim and I appreciated getting to know him and his wife Penny and family during my visits to Pensacola over these last 30 years. The Witt's were always gracious and I know that my parents greatly appreciated their many invitations and company. He and my Dad Jim taught together at UWF for many years and shared a great camaraderie and fellowship. Blessings to the Witt family and I'm sure that Jim has already had a great reunion with his buddy, my father, in heaven. I will now add him to my daily prayers and humbly ask for his intercessory support as well.
Mike McGovern

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