|Birth: ||Jun. 9, 1941|
|Death: ||Jul. 17, 2009|
James S. "Jim" DeWit departed this life for his final flight Friday, July 17, 2009, at the age of 68. In other words, as Jim's friends at AirCal are known to say, Jim DeWit "took the flight west." Jim's passing was very unexpected. He had no known health problems. Jim often bragged that since he was born on the dining room table at his parents' home, he had never spent a single night in the hospital in his entire life. On Friday, he passed on while reading the newspaper, also at the dining room table, of an apparent major coronary event. His passing happened quickly, and he experienced no suffering.
Service: The celebration of Jim's very accomplished life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church, 7201 W Beardsley Road, Glendale, Ariz. A luncheon will follow at the church. Interment: All are invited to join the luncheon and the procession afterwards to Phoenix Memorial Park. Jim's final resting place has been thoughtfully selected to be under the flight pattern of Deer Valley airport, where Jim's small plane is located. From there, airplanes can be seen taking off and landing. Jim will be laid to rest in full American Airlines uniform. All pilots who attend the service are encouraged to wear their uniform if they can. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Phoenix Memorial Park & Mortuary, 200 W. Beardsley Road, Phoenix, Ariz.
Sentiments may be sent to Jana DeWit, Box 12049, Glendale, Ariz. 85318.
Jim was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., on June 9, 1941. After graduation from South High School, he looked to the west and headed for California. As he drove across the country on Route 66, he relayed his adventure to a disc jockey at the WLS radio station in Chicago. Over the next few years he had number of jobs in Southern California. Among the most notable were working at Disneyland and as a firefighter in Garden Grove. It was at this time that Jim started his 40-year career in aviation, his true passion.
Jim's love story began when he met and married the love of his life, Jana. Their life together has been filled with love, laughter and great fun. After living in California for 28 years, they next moved to Grapevine, residing there for 10 years. They treasure the precious friends and associates they met while living there. The next move brought Jim and Jana to Glendale, Ariz., where they currently reside. Jim was the consummate pilot. The safety of thousands of passengers and fellow employees were entrusted to Capt. DeWit. His record demonstrated that this trust was well placed. He was proud to have flown for AirCal and American Airlines for a combined total of 21 years, before retiring in 2001. Shortly after Jim's retirement, his family was not surprised when he decided to join NetJets to continue enjoying his passion for flying. He was currently employed with NetJets and intended to retire in one month. Jim possessed an innate ability to identify any make and model of aircraft in the sky, at a moment when others would see it as a mere speck on the horizon. In addition, during his aviation career, Jim was one of the unique few that never crashed a simulator. With his outgoing and happy nature, Jim leaves family and friends with great memories. His infectious laugh and his famous stories will be greatly missed. Jim is our beloved husband, father, granddad, brother and friend.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, George L. and Jayne C. DeWit.
Survivors: The love of his life, Jana; loving children, Jeff DeWit (Marina) and Jill Spence; beautiful grandchildren, Erin and Alec Spence, Delaney and Katerina DeWit (and another granddaughter on the way); siblings, George DeWit Jr., Linda Cunningham (Tom) and Leslie Yakes (Denny).
Published in Star-Telegram on 7/23/2009
Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary
Created by: Tim Hawkins
Record added: Jul 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39777393