Raymond J. Witt (1929-2017)

Raymond J. Witt
December 13, 1929 – August 30, 2017

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Julian Witt, age 87, of O’Fallon, born December 13, 1929 in Galveston, Texas, died August 30, 2017.

Raymond grew up in Galveston, Texas.  As a young man, he played the organ and piano at the First Baptist church Galveston, where he was baptized.  He attended Baylor University as a music major and he directed a choir at Sculthorpe AFB in England for several years.

In 1953, he began his military career, receiving his commission and navigator wings from Mather AFB, Calif. He flew in Norfolk, England as an Aerial Observer Bombardier in the B-45 Tornado aircraft. Seeing the opportunity for career advancement, Ray applied to pilot training, and was assigned to the B-47 aircraft, and soon transitioned into the C-141. Ray became challenged with medical issues, and after being diagnosed with arthritis, was grounded from flying. Although disappointed to lose the chance to fly, Ray continued his successful military career, serving in the Philippines and Thailand, and finally Scott AFB, where he served as MAC Headquarters Chief of Staff DCS Transportation, retiring in 1974. His service earned him the Bronze Star, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

After military retirement, Raymond volunteered his time teaching inmates at the St. Clair County jail. For his efforts, he was recognized by SWIC for his dedicated service to improving literacy, and by S. Illinois Law Enforcement Commission (SILEC) and S. Illinois Police Chief’s Association (SIPCA) with the “Outstanding Citizen Award.” He was a substitute teacher at area grade schools, and enjoyed genealogy and researching his family tree. He played a key role in organizing reunions of his former squadrons, and maintained a newsletter to keep his fellow veterans connected. In 2000, at the age of 70, he returned to college at SWIC to earn his AAS degree in Computer Information Systems. While quiet and insightful, he was a good story-teller and enjoyed playing bridge with his Air Force friends. He was kind, generous, and always ready to lend a helping hand.

Memorial donations are suggested to Wounded Warrior or USO and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.wfh-ofallon.com.

He was preceded in death by his parents Whorton and Ruth, nee Paysse, Witt.

Surviving are his wife Virginia, nee Higgins, Witt of O’Fallon whom he married December 26, 1959 at March AFB, Calif., son David Witt of Shiloh, and daughter Janet Witt  Stockmann of Shiloh. Also surviving are grandchildren Theresa (Craig) Wuebbels, David Witt II, Michael, Christopher, and Matthew Stockmann; great-grandchildren Trent and Morgan; and brother William (Jane) Witt, of Richmond, Texas.

The family received friends from Monday, September 4, 2017 at Wolfersberger Funeral Home, 102 W. Washington St., O’Fallon, Il.

Funeral Service was Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at the funeral home, with Rev. Skip Leininger officiating. Interment, with military honors, followed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

Arrangements entrusted to Wolfersberger Funeral Home, O’Fallon, Illinois