Raymond Lin Witt, Buffalo, departed this earth on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at the age of 85.
Born in a sod house near Palisade, Nebraska on April 12th, 1935, Raymond Lin Witt was the third of eleven children born to Alvy and Irene (Carey) Witt. He once remarked that having so many siblings was the reason he ate with his left hand, even though he was right-handed. “The way the table was set up, you either ate with your left hand or didn’t eat.”
Growing up outside of town, Ray would often have to arrange five or more of his siblings onto a bike to take them to and from school, which must have been quite the sight.
He graduated from Palisade High School in Palisade, Nebraska. While attending school, he worked as a projectionist at the local movie house where he developed his lifelong distaste for musicals. After graduation, he worked for Goodwill’s Electronics making transistors, where he met Shirley JoAn Denbo, whom he married in 1956. The pair remained together until Shirley’s passing in 2009. To the union were born two children, Dixie Lynn and Carl Ray.
Facing few opportunities in the small town, he made the decision to move his young family to Buffalo, Missouri, “the land of milk and honey”, in the winter of 1959. He found work in Springfield, Missouri with Kraft Foods, and remained employed there for almost 40 years until his retirement. A tireless worker, Ray would often come home after his shift and immediately set to work expanding the family homestead, adding on to the house and building outbuildings himself, until the kids were old enough to help. He could often be found in his later years puttering around the woodshop, tinkering on a vehicle, or tending plants in his beloved greenhouse.
Ray will be remembered for his smile, his wonderful sense humor, and his Hollywood good looks. He was fond of playing his Dobro guitar and had a passion for bluegrass, often making the pilgrimage to the Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival with his beloved wife Shirley of 52 years. He is and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Shirley, and four siblings: Louise Winterstein, Bill Witt, Nathan Witt, and Lucinda Blomstedt.
He is survived by five siblings: Carol Carey, Elkland, Missouri; Clinton Witt and wife Debbie, Lexington, Nebraska; Jim and wife Belle, Boise, Idaho; Bob Witt and wife Jan, Buffalo, Missouri; and Mike Witt and wife Tammy, Buffalo, Missouri.
He is also survived by two children and their families: daughter Dixie L. (Witt) Dill and husband Charlie O. of Elkland, Missouri, and their sons Travis C. Dill and wife Stevie, of Elkland, Missouri, and Tyler D. Dill, of Elkland, Missouri; and his son Carl R Witt and wife Marlene of Buffalo, Missouri, and their sons Michael and wife Kristi Wisdom of Kansas City, Missouri, and Matthew and Lynn Wisdom of Buffalo, Missouri. In addition, he leaves behind eleven great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Cremation rites were accorded under the care and direction of the Cantlon-Otterness & Viets Funeral Home of Buffalo.