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Jim was preceded in death by his parents, one son James Lee Witt in 1982 and four siblings Lavon Weber, Henry Witt, Clara Adams, and Bill Witt.
Jim is survived by his wife Nelda of Flagler, CO. One brother Walter and wife Arthena Witt of Flagler, CO, one sister Anna and husband Lewis Mayer of Guymon, OK, a daughter-in-law Rose Saffer of Flagler, CO, three grandchildren Jessie and husband Brian and their children Jude, Merrick Pannell of Medford, OR, Bill and wife Mindy and their children Lewis, Owen, and Ava Witt of Flagler, CO, and Hannah and husband Mason and their children Cooper, and Bex Seaman of Eaton, CO. Also surviving are numerous nieces, nephews and two great grandchildren on the way. We think itâs beautiful Grandpa wrote a lot of this himself in an amazing family history his sister, Anna, compiled in 1998. We love his love of storytelling: I, James Hugo Jim Witt, was born on December 4, 1935 to Henry and Frances Jefferis Witt at their farm home thirteen miles northwest of Hooker, Oklahoma. I am the sixth of seven children. Growing up in a large family had lots of advantages. We always were able to enjoy each otherâs company and we also had a lot of hired men around to tell stories on their off time. Some of their stories were probably x-rated, but me and Bill listened anyway. I had many good times growing up at home. I was always interested in mechanics. As a ten or eleven year old, I saw a motor sitting outside a lumber mill and said, âGod, Iâd like to have that motor!â? We went on several trips, like the time we went to Yellowstone in the back of a truck. We also went to Mexico in the old Packard, all nine of us. Our family went to California in 1947 and took in the Grand Canyon on our way. This was not exciting to an eleven year old, so I was asleep in the car. Pappy told Anna to wake me up. I looked out the car window and said, âItâs kinda cute.â? Being out on the farm, we didnât indulge in much social activity. We went to a country school through sixth grade. I started seventh grade in the town school. It was hard for me to sit still and pay attention. In our spare time at Sunday school, we would clip pieces of girlsâ hair to take home for souvenirs. This seemed to outrage the teacher and the girls. When we went to school, Nelda Roberts sat right across from me and apparently Iâd been smitten, although I was scared of her mama! This attraction and romance grew into marriage on June 28, 1953 in Perryton, Texas. (They had to go to Texas because he was too young in Oklahoma.) I was seventeen and she was sixteen so we finished our senior year after we were married and graduated in 1954. Everyone was telling us we were too young and it wouldnât last. We probably were, and it probably wonât. (They celebrated their 54th anniversary in June.) James Lee (Jick) was born November 4, 1954. I was employed at the Co-op gas station. Pap came down and wanted me to rent part of the farm in Flagler. We gathered up some old equipment and moved to Colorado. By the time we got to Flagler the wind and dirt were getting so bad that Nelda and Wanda, (her sister and six month old Jick) following us in the car, couldnât see us and got lost. Wanda commented, âWhy would anyone want to move here?â? 1955-1957 were drought years and it was pretty tough. Seemed like the only thing we ever got out of the mail box was overdrafts and bills. But in 1958 we had good crops. We got our feet on the ground, and from that time on, weâve had fair success. Nelda put an ad in the paper to see if we could get interest in starting a church at Flagler. Several responded to the ad. (The church started meeting April 1959.) We purchased some property, and in 1986 built a new building. Not having enough money to hire a contractor, we furnished all the labor except what the law would not allow us to do. Iâve enjoyed mechanic work on all kinds of equipment, and later learned to enjoy working with wood and remodeled our house, Roseâs house and later helped the other men of the congregation build the church building. I also helped build the Napa store and remodeled the old Stuckeyâs store. Jick graduated from Flagler High School in 1973 and on November 24 of that same year married Rose Schiferl. Jick and Rose had three children: Jessica Lynn, born July 6, 1976; William Lee, born January 3, 1978, and Hannah Francis, born October 10, 1979. Jickâs life was cut short, and he died with cancer on April 22, 1982 at age 27.
In April 1986, Rose, Nelda, and I opened the âWittâs Travel Stopâ? on 1-70 in Seibert. There we sold everything from gasoline to sandwiches. Later, we expanded by adding âHigh Plains Fuel Co.,â? a bulk fuel delivery business and âHigh Plains Service Center,â? a tire business. In April 1996, we sold all these businesses. Now our efforts are concentrated back at the farm. We enjoy traveling. Nelda and I have been to Hawaii twice, Acapulco, and South America twice. We have been on several fun trips with Lewis, Anna, and Vonnie. Bill and I went on a mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya when Bill was sixteen. What an experience and boy did home look great! Much time has passed and the grandkids have grown up. All three graduated from Flagler High School. Jessie graduated from Harding University and married Brian Pannell in 1997. They now reside in Medford, Oregon with their tweeties, Jude age 5, (today is his birthday!) and Merrick age 2 Â½, and one coming in June. Bill graduated also from Harding University and married Mindy Hamilton on December 16, 2000. They live on the farm with their honyoks, Lewis age 4 Â½, Owen age 2 Â½ , and Ava, born this past August. Hannah married Mason Seaman November 18, 2000 and graduated from University of Northern Colorado and Palmer College of Chiropractic. They are moving back to Flagler with their squirrel ears, Cooper age 3, Bex age 2, and one due in July. There have been other good memories and things we have enjoyed along the way, especially family and church. If we had the power to change anything, we probably wouldnât. We used to say we were going back home when we went to Hooker. Now Flagler has become home. If I had any advice to pass on to the next generation it would be Ecclesiastes 12:13, âNow all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.â? Lewis, Jimâs great-grandson, may have summed it up best for all of us, âWeâre still buddies about him even though he died. I donât know what to do about him, but weâre still buddies anyway. I still love him anyway.â? Youâve run your race--the hard part is now for us. We miss you. Funeral services for Jim will be held Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Christ in Flagler with Lee Fisher and George Robertson officiating. Burial will follow in the Flagler Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior the service at the church in Flagler.
Memorials are suggested to the Mountain States Childrenâs Home P.O. Box 1097 Longmont, CO 80502 or the Flagler Ambulance Fund P.O. Box 101 Flagler, CO 80815.
The Love Funeral Home of Limon, CO was in charge of arrangements. Please visit our website at www.lovefuneralhomes.com to sign our online guest book or to send the family your message of condolence.