DeWitt, William J., Jr.
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Oberlin, OH: William (Bill) Judson DeWitt, Jr. of Oberlin, WWII Army Air Corps Veteran, passed away at Kendal at Oberlin (Ohio) on February 19, 2013. William was the beloved husband for 68 years and lifelong friend since fourth grade of Betty (nee Frances Elizabeth Gebhard); loving father of four sons, William J. DeWitt, III and wife Marcia, Thomas G. DeWitt and wife Florence, Peter F. DeWitt and wife Susan, and David A. DeWitt and wife Susan. William was born January 18, 1923 in Waltham, MA to Ethel Furniss of Delaware, OH and William Judson DeWitt, Sr. He attended the Northwood School, Lake Placid, NY, and began his college education at Amherst College before joining the US Army Air Corps where he flew 35 B-17 missions in Europe and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four oak leaves. After WWII he returned to Cornell University's Industrial Labor Relations School to earn a bachelor's degree in the first class for the ILR School (1947). He retired in 1988 and lived in Ithaca, NY in the late 1990s before moving to Kendal at Oberlin in the late 1990s. William was dedicated to his family, his community and his church. He was an avid sailor on the Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes, as well as a skier and outdoorsman. He is registered in the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC and has been a member of the Holland Society for his Dutch ancestry. In the early 1950s he joined the Shoe Form Company/DeWitt Plastics on Aurelius Avenue, Auburn, NY, and served as president in the 1950s and 1960s. William led the company in early plastics industry efforts with the new technology of blow molding. He moved to Michigan City, IN in the 1960s and spent the remainder of his career as president of DeWitt-Gebhard Associates, Inc. serving the healthcare and RV industries. He was also dear grandfather to 12 grandchildren and great-grandfather to 14 great-grandchildren as well as uncle and friend to many. Memorials can be made to the Kendal of Oberlin Residents Assistance Fund, 600 Kendal Drive, Oberlin, OH 44074 or your local Salvation Army. Interment will be at the Fort Hill Cemetery, 19 Fort Street, Auburn, NY at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Mar. 23, 2013