OAKWOOD — Thomas Eugene Hitt, 72, Oakwood, Ohio, born May 27, 1947, passed away surrounded by loved ones on June 11, 2019.
Tom was the son of Harry Hitt and Ethel Pumphrey Hitt, and the stepson of Herbert “Buddy” Sprouse. He was born in Weston, West Virginia, the oldest of 10 brothers and sisters.
He was predeceased by his siblings, Kenneth Hitt, Lonnie Hitt, Steven Hitt, James Sprouse and Robert Sprouse.
He is survived by his siblings, Debra Grant, Phyliss Lero, Herbert “Lee” Sprouse, and Brenda Gum.
In grade and high school, Tom was a caretaker, protector and fierce advocate for his brothers and sisters. On a personal level, Tom enjoyed studying, playing football and exploring West Virginia with his siblings and friends.
Tom married Lynette Blankenship Hitt on November 23, 1967, and never left her side until the day he died. Even in death, they are inseparable and Tom will be with Lynn at all times.
Tom volunteered to serve in Vietnam in 1968 to join his brothers that were drafted. He served as a medic and was honorably discharged when he was wounded with a gunshot to his hand. He lost friends and family during the war and this experience never left him. It helped him be a better person and reminded him at all times to care for the ones he loves.
Following the war, he had his four children, Michelle Lynn Hitt, Christine Dawn Hitt, Richele Lea Hitt and Charlie Thomas Hitt. Michelle and Christine were stillborn; but never forgotten by Thomas or Lynn.
Early in the lives of Richele and Charlie, Tom spent time in Morgantown, West Virginia, attending West Virginia University. He finished three and a half years of his education and somewhat regretted failing to finish. During his time, along with the delight of raising his family, he served as an assistant women’s track coach for West Virginia University and developed a deep love of West Virginia sports with an emphasis on West Virginia football and basketball. GO MOUNTAINEERS!
He left school for a number of reasons; but prime among them was to take care of his family. He moved to the Defiance/Oakwood area and took a job with General Motors. He spent 28 years with General Motors and made lifelong friends during this time.
As Charlie and Richele got older, he supported them in track and field, Richele in cheerleading, and Charlie in wrestling. He established a wrestling club in Oakwood to work with young boys interested in high school wrestling and even installed wrestling mats in a large spare room in the Hitt household.
Tom and Lynn worked hard to raise Richele and Charlie.
Richele obtained her master’s in social work from the University of Cincinnati and works with the Ohio Health Group in Columbus, Ohio. Richele is now Richele Hitt MacDowell, via marriage to Benjamin Joseph MacDowell in 2007. They have two of Tom and Lynn’s grandchildren, Regan Thomas Hitt, who is in the process of obtaining two master’s degrees and working on admission to medical school; and Caelan Andrew MacDowell, who is looking forward to the start of 5th grade.
Charlie recently retired from Maci in Jackson, Michigan, to move back to Oakwood, Ohio. Charlie has had two marriages that resulted in three wonderful grandchildren. Brody Hitt is a technology department manager at the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Walmart; Cameron Hitt, who just obtained her general education degree, moved to Marysville, Ohio, for work; and Shelby Hitt is looking forward to the start of 3rd grade.
Along with his love of life, his family and West Virginia, Tom never met an antique he did not know. He first learned about antiques from his mother and expanded his knowledge from there. He was a collector, a seller and a trader of antiques; but most loved the history of each of the pieces he ever took a look at.
In addition, he was a lot smarter than he looked. Along with this being evidenced by his extensive knowledge of antiques and their associated history, Tom enjoyed gambling. He rarely gambled; but his method is one example of his intelligence. Blackjack was his game of choice and he played responsible and low key. Most who watched him play never saw him lose and were just along for the ride at the table.
Tom was humble and never directly critical of anyone. He tried to better people by questioning their behavior and supporting them. He was direct if you asked him; but never spoke that way unless it was requested. That said, he was stubborn and almost always had the right answer or at least a different, but significant, way of looking at things.
He was a loving husband, father, son, brother, grandfather, friend, father-in-law, sports coach and life coach. Everyone he touched is glad to have known him and will miss him forever.
Calling hours will be held at the Lawson-Roessner Funeral Home, 1753 S. Clinton Street, Defiance, Ohio 43512, today, June 12, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. Tom’s funeral will occur at the same location on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of donations, donations to the American Cancer Society are appreciated. Condolences may be shared online at lawsonroessner.com.