Jan. 13, 1927—March 23, 2015
TOPEKA—Cleo Byron Hitt, died Monday, March 23, 2015 at Stormont Vail Hospital, following a brief illness. He was 88.
He was born Jan. 13, 1927 in Severy, to Floyd E. and Lucy Binns Hitt. At the age of 2, they moved to a farm in Howard where he grew up. In 1945, he joined the army and spent his service years in Belgium and Germany working with WWII prisoners of war.
On a rainy Easter Sunday, following his return from service, Cleo offered Ruby Mae Wunderlich and her girlfriends a ride in his car to the movies so that they would not get their Easter Bonnets wet. That was the beginning of a wonderful 67- year romance with his beloved wife, Ruby. Following their marriage Oct. 7, 1948, they moved to Topeka and then to their farm in Overbrook where they were blessed with a son and a daughter that were a delight to both of them. He had various jobs including Morrell Meat Packing, Santa Fe Railroad and a 25-year career with DuPont.
Following his retirement from Dupont in 1985, he and Ruby took their Airstream camper sightseeing across the country. They spent their winters enjoying the warm sun of the Rio Grande Valley in Edinberg and McAllen, Texas. There they enjoyed playing cards and Mexican Train Dominoes, dancing and going to jam sessions with the numerous friends they made.
He loved to hunt, fish and as he said, “piddle.” He always had a project going. If something didn’t work he would tinker with it until it did. He was an avid baseball fan and would go to great lengths to see his Royals and Cardinals play, even if it meant driving up a one-way street the wrong way!
He dearly loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and will always be remembered for his great hugs. They have many fond memories of their grandpa, including sledding behind the tractor, driving that tractor around the farm, helping feed the cattle and fishing in the pond.
He is survived by his wife, Ruby Mae (Wunderlich) Hitt; their children; Roger & Linda Hitt, Omaha, Neb., Vicki and Ron Brewer, Admire; six grandchildren; Melissa Tevis and Mike Scheckel, Osage City; Carey and Kelly Jordan, Topeka, Shaun and Sara Tevis, Admire, Brooks and Elizabeth Hitt, Lincoln, Neb., Libby and Bobby Coyle, Philadelphia, Amanda Hitt, Plano, Texas; and seven great grandchildren; Anthony, Devin, Cameron, and Tyson Gragg, all of Osage City; Brooklyn Jordan, Topeka; and Dietrich and Audrey Hitt, Lincoln, Neb.
A visitation will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 26 at Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Friday, March 27 at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the V.F. W. , c/o Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home, 730 Western Heights Drive, Overbrook, KS 66524.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.