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John F. "Jack" Hitz, Jr., age 68, of East Lake Rd., Ripley, N.Y., died Saturday, January 25, 2014 at home with his loving family and friends by his side.
The son of the late John F. Hitz Sr. and Mary Alice (Jung) Hitz, Jack was born on April 12, 1945 in Erie, Pa. He married Judith A. Knight on November 29, 1969 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Westfield, N.Y.
A 1964 graduate of North East High School, Jack served his country in the U.S. Army from 1965 – 1967 including the Vietnam Conflict. He came home from the war to start a long and distinguished career in grape farming. In 1971, along with his wife, Judy, he established Hitz Farms, Inc. on East Lake Rd. in Ripley, N.Y. Jack loved his church family and since 1970, was an active and committed member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry, as a youth leader, and in other faithful capacities. He had a passion for classic cars and hot rods and enjoyed downhill skiing. Jack loved the outdoors, was an expert marksman who excelled at the sport of target shooting. He was a longtime member of the Lawrence Park Rifle Club. Jack was president of Hitz Farms, Inc. until the time of his death, and Pro Clean Unlimited, Inc., the successful business he built with his wife, Judy and son, Chris in 1995 until his retirement in 2007.
When his children were young, Jack enjoyed serving as a Webelo Scout leader. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose
Lodge #118, and a board member of the Westfield Maid Grape Coop. Jack was a good and honorable man who loved God and treasured the time he spent with his family and friends. He was a very proud husband, father, grandfather, and brother.
Jack is survived by Judith K. (Knight), his wife of 44 years and by his children: Scott (Missy) Hitz of Erie, Pa., Christopher (Michele) Hitz of Erie, Pa.; his two grandchildren, Charlotte and Parker Hitz also of Erie; and Laurie and Lily Jensen, Racine, Wis. Jack is further survived by his sister: Alice Frances Szymanowicz of Cranesville, Pa. and his brother: Kenneth (Mary Jean) Hitz of North East, Pa.
Friends may call on Monday, January 27, 2014 from 4 until 8 p.m. at the Mason Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield, N.Y. and are invited to attend the funeral services to be held on Tuesday afternoon, January 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Peters Episcopal Church, 12 Elm Street, Westfield, N.Y., with Rev. Virginia Carr officiating. Inurnment will be held privately in St. Peter's Columbarium.
Memorials may be made to St. Peters Episcopal Church, 12 Elm Street, Westfield, NY 14787 or to the Kevin Guest House, 782 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY 14203.
Log on to www.masonfuneral.com
to send the Hitz family a message of sympathy, to light a memorial candle or for further information.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Jan. 26, 2014