Cleo Hitt, 88, Overbrook: Jan. 13, 1927 – March 23, 2015

032515-hitt-web-photoTOPEKA – Cleo Byron Hitt, 88, died Monday, March 23, 2015, at Stormont Vail hospital, following a brief illness. He was born Jan. 13, 1927 in Severy, Kan., to Floyd E. and Lucy (Binns) Hitt. When Cleo was 2 years old, they moved to a farm in Howard where he grew up.

In 1945, Cleo joined the Army and spent his service years in Belgium and Germany working with WWII prisoners of war.

On a rainy Easter Sunday, following his return from service, Cleo offered Ruby Mae Wunderlich and her girlfriends a ride in his car to the movies, so that they would not get their Easter bonnets wet. That was the beginning of a wonderful 67-year romance with his beloved wife Ruby. Following their marriage on October 7, 1948, they moved to Topeka and then to their farm in Overbrook where they were blessed with a son and a daughter that were a delight to both of them.

Cleo had various jobs at Morrell Meat Packing and Santa Fe Railroad, and had a 25-year career with DuPont.

Following his retirement from DuPont in 1985, Cleo and Ruby took their Airstream camper sightseeing across the country. They spent their winters enjoying the warm sun of the Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas. There they made numerous friends, enjoyed playing cards, Mexican Train dominoes, dancing and going to jam sessions.

Cleo loved to hunt and fish, and as he said “piddle”. He always had a project going. If something didn’t work he would tinker with it until it did. He was an avid baseball fan and would go to great lengths to see his Royals and Cardinals play, even if it meant driving up a one-way street the wrong way!

Cleo loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren unconditionally and will be remembered for the great hugs he gave freely. They have many fond memories of sledding behind the tractor, driving that tractor around the farm, helping to feed the cattle and fishing in the pond with Grandpa.

He is survived by his wife, Ruby Mae (Wunderlich) Hitt; their children, Roger and Linda Hitt, Omaha, Neb., and Vicki and Ron Brewer, Admire, Kan.; six grandchildren, Melissa Tevis and Mike Scheckel, Osage City, Carey and Kelly Jordan, Topeka, Shaun and Sara Tevis, Admire, Brooks and Elizabeth Hitt, Lincoln, Neb., Libby and Bobby Coyle, Philadelphia, Pa., and Amanda Hitt, Plano, Texas; and seven great-grandchildren, Anthony, Devin, Cameron and Tyson Gragg, Osage City, Brooklyn Jordan, Topeka, and Dietrich and Audrey Hitt, Lincoln, Neb.

A visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday, March 27, at the funeral home.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Heart Association or the VFW, sent in care of Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home, 730 Western Heights Drive, Overbrook, KS 66524. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.

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