Gone West - Don DeWitt

From the Chicago Tribune

Donald Bernard DeWitt was born on September 18, 1942 in Ponca City, 
Oklahoma, to Bernard & Alice DeWitt. He joined his brother, Richard, 
while his father was a flight instructor for Royal Air Force pilots during WWII. 
The family returned to Palos Heights, IL where his sister, Diane DeWitt (Asheville, NC), joined them. Both of his parents were pilots and the whole family flew together out of Howell Airport in Crestwood, IL. 

Don enlisted in the Army as a helicopter mechanic in 1961 after his graduation from Blue Island High School. When he returned from the Army, he became an electrician for IBEW Local 134, a job he enjoyed for over 40 years. In 1971, he married his wife of 52 years, Sharon (Browner). The couple enjoyed traveling together. They have called Elk Grove Village home for 45 years. Don and Sharon have three children, Christine (Victor Hughes) of Jacksonville, FL, Sherry, and Donald. Sherry and Donald both reside in Elk Grove Village. 

Don's love for flying started as a child and never waned. He restored his parent's Piper Cub, equipping it to fly aerobatics. Don also built and flew a Pitts Special. Most days he could be found at Lewis Airport, enjoying what he loved - flying loops and rolls, attending fly-ins, and his aviation community of friends. 

"GP" adored his two granddaughters, Agnes & Alexandra Hughes, and never missed an opportunity to spend time with them. He touched many with his warm smile and soft spoken personality. His eyes have always been drawn skyward and after a peaceful passing on December 13, 2023, due to complications from lymphoma, he has returned to the skies to be with the Lord. Per his request, no service is planned.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Experimental Aircraft Association - Young Eagles Program (www.eaa.org).

Don in his iconic Clipped Wing Cub. Photo circa 1970. Thank you to his good friend and IAC historian Mike Heuer for the photo from his IAC collection.

The first IAC sanctioned contest took place on May 7, 1970 at the Chicago-Hammond Airport in Illinois. It was a one-day competition, a Sportsman-only event with six pilots. The competitors were Don DeWitt (Clipped Cub)Standing in the center wearing hat, Dan McGarry (Clipped Cub), Giles Henderson (Clipped Cub), Dion Stams (Cassutt), Jim Dees (D-260 Senior Aero Sport), and Jim Lacey (Pitts S1-C). Photo above. IAC archive photo from the November 2010 issue of Sport Aerobatics.