Baqi Ali Diaab, aka Larry W. Hitt, passed away Tuesday morning, May 18, 2010 at Hamot Medical Center. He was born December 26, 1945 in St. Clair County, Alabama, son of the late Willie "Wince" and Christine Baker Hitt. He moved to Erie from the Birmingham, Ala. area as a child and graduated from Academy High School where he was an all-star basketball player and athlete. He gave up his dreams of playing professional basketball and joined the armed services so that he could support his family. He was later employed as a Counselor at Harbor Creek Home for Boys. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War where he received a Purple Heart Medal, Golden Presidential Medal and Award, and many Army Accommodation Medals, Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medals, and other Army Recommendation Certificates and Weapons Qualifications. He was also an Expert Grenade Launcher, Expert Sharp Shooter and Airborne Pilot for the 4th Brigade Division. To sum it up, he was a "Super Trooper and Hero". His family was his life and he took pride in it. Baqi enjoyed the game of basketball and chess which he taught his children at a young age. He was a Master at Tai Chi and loved physical fitness, running marathons, reading and increasing his knowledge in all areas. Although he spent 25 years incarcerated, Baqi was never ashamed of his life. He believed in holding yourself accountable for all your actions. During his time of incarceration he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He also never stopped loving his family and he continued to motivate and encourage them to never give up. His favorite saying was "Keep It Moving". That is how he was able to overcome his life's challenges and obstacles. Baqi was given the title "Hero" in Vietnam and he will always be a Hero to his family. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. He leaves to cherish his memory one son, Dr. Stacey J. Hitt, Ph.D. (Pam), four daughters, Tara Carter (Mike), Patricia Tate, Nicky Diaab, and Atiyyah Diaab; a sister, Bonnie Tyus; estranged wife, Mary Woodard; his dear friend, Shawna Burns; 15 grandchildren; aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, May 27, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Law Funeral Home, 2926 Pine Ave. and may attend a funeral service there on Friday, May 28, 11 a.m., conducted by Rev. Dr. Allen B. Green. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family. Although you are no longer here in flesh, your love will live forever. Your family loves you dearly and we will miss you Daddy. We Salute You!!!!
Published by Erie Times-News on May 26, 2010.