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Eugene R. Witten

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SHUSHAN, N.Y. -- Eugene R. Witten, artist, 83, died peacefully at his home on Hickory Hill Road on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004 while listening to the classical music that he loved. He was the husband of Anita (Reis) Witten.

Born Oct. 22, 1920 in Manhattan, he was the son of Dr. Louis and Anna (Mosessohn) Witten. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan.

He was called into service for four years in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war he continued his art studies, spending several years in Paris, mostly in cafes.

After marrying and working in New York, Gene and Anita sought a place to paint in the country. They lived in New Hampshire and then Vermont, finally settling at their beautiful home on the banks of the Battenkill River in the early sixties. This is where they raised their boys and had theirstudios for 40 yearsGene was celebrated for the subtlety and transparency of his oil paintings which were influenced by both Japanese and French traditions. His work is in the collections of many museums, including Dartmouth College and the Springfield Museum, and in private collections in France, Holland, and Switzerland as well as the local area. The most recent exhibit was at Gallery 668 in Battenville and Galerie Romanet in Paris.

Gene was also a talented maker of custom frames. His skills in gilding and hand carving are ones that are becoming rarer.

Besides his wife of 50 years, he is survived by two sons and their wives, Timothy Witten and Christiana Carr of Seattle and Matthew Franz Witten and Sherry Pachman of Starksboro, VT; a granddaughter, Evalin Witten; a brother, Commander Charles Witten ; a brother-in-law, Parke Sandler and numerous nieces and nephews. A sister, Rue Sandler, predeceased him last year A memorial gathering is being planned for the spring.

In honor of Gene’s love of music, the family requests memorial donations be made to Music from Salem, c/o Bob Strode, treasurer, 39 South Valley Road, Argyle, NY 12809 or Planned Parenthood, Washington County, Granville, NY 12832.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ackley & Ross Funeral Home, Cambridge.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 16, 2004
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