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He was extremely proud of his family John Paul Witt, 75, of Ava, passed away peacefully Sunday, March 11 with his family surrounding him. He was 75 years old and had experienced a short illness with lung cancer.
Visitation services will be today (Thursday, March 15) from 7 to 9 p.m. at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, March 16 at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Ava.
Graveside services will follow at the Ava Cemetery.
He was preceded in death by his father, Frank B. Witt, his mother, Velma Gass Witt, and his stepmother, Ruth Nace Witt.
John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth; his sister, Jean Scott, of Niles, Ohio and her husband, Joel; his brother, Frank Witt, Jr., of Poland, Ohio and his wife Jane; 10 children, John Witt, of Lake St. Louis and his wife, Pat, Tina Talbert, Springfield, and her husband, Keith, Cheryl Orr, Lee’s Summit, and her husband, Bob, Darlene Petty, Brighton, and her husband, Randy, Diane Cunningham, Overland Park, Kan., and her husband, Bill, Dan Witt, Kansas City, and his wife, Bonnie, Jeff Witt, Mullins, S. C., Rod Witt, Nixa, and his wife, Sheryl, Clay Witt, McKinney, Texas and his wife, Stacy, Anita Madche, Fort Sheridan, Ill. and her husband, Ray; and 21 grandchildren.
He was born in 1931 to Frank B. Witt and Velma Gass Witt in Eureka, Tenn. His mother died when he was 3 and he was raised by his grandparents and his Aunt Zoe until his father remarried. He moved to Girard, Ohio where he graduated from high school.
He attended and played football at Kent State University, leaving early to join the Air Force. He retired after 20 years as a master sergeant, having served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was awarded the Bronze Star during his Vietnam tour for his bravery as part of an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) squad team. He retired in Ava in 1970 and worked at McBee Binder Company in Springfield, Spalding and Rawlings Manufacturing Plants, and St. Leo’s Church.
He was extremely proud of his family and enjoyed camping, woodworking, fishing, and was an avid sports fan.
Donations in John’s name can be to Regional Hospice, Springfield, St. John’s Hospital Foundation Springfield, or St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Ava.