Robert K. Hitt, 72, Topeka: Oct. 10, 1947 – Sept. 24, 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. – Robert Kenneth Hitt, 72, formerly of Topeka, Kan., passed away Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at Liberty Hospital, Liberty, Mo. He was born Oct. 10, 1947, in Providence, R.I., the son of Reagan and Marie Jeanette (Smith) Hitt.

He lived his early years in Dallas, Texas. He attended Bryan Adams High School, and was active in the ROTC all four years.

Two weeks after graduation he enlisted in the US Army and completed basic training at Ft. Polk, La. After AIT, Ft. Ord, Calif., he deployed to Germany in November 1966. After a long winter, he decided it was too cold for a Texas cowboy and requested reassignment to Vietnam. In July 1967 he arrived at the U.S. Military Assistance Command (MAC V) where he worked to train, support and assist a Vietnamese infantry unit. He returned stateside in 1969, stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, before attending officer candidate school at Ft. Benning, Ga. After assignments to Ft. Walters, Texas, and Ft. Rucker, Ala., he was assigned to Ft Riley, Kan., in July 1971. He remained on active duty status there until a force reduction in October 1973. He served in the US Army Reserve from then until 1974. In September 1975 he went full-time with the Kansas Air National Guard, at Forbes Field, Topeka. In June 1986 he transitioned to his full-time role with the Kansas Army National Guard, where he served the next 21 years before retiring in October 2007. His total time of service was 39 years, nine months and 22 days. The day after his retirement he returned to his office as a civilian contractor until his final retirement in 2012.

Robert was joined in marriage to Julie Jane Van Dyke, March 17, 1973, in Wichita, Kan. They most recently lived in Topeka, before moving this summer to be closer to their work in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Temple, Kansas City.

Robert was an extraordinary husband, father, brother, son, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather. Together with his eternal love, Julie, and through his priesthood authority, he presided over his family with love and a generous amount of undeserved patience.

They had four daughters, Crystal Peterson (Randall), of Olathe, Kan., Amy Heckman (Cody), Burlingame Kan., Darlene Moyer (John), Corning, Kan., and Karen Hitt, Lenexa, Kan.; four sons, Erik Hitt (Cara), Pasco, Wash., Travis Hitt, Emporia, Kan., Jeremy Hitt (Pandora), Burlingame, and Shawn Hitt (Juell), Burlingame; a sister, Joyce Higginbotham, New Port Richey, Fla.; two brothers, his identical twin brother Ronald Hitt, Garland, Texas, and Thomas Hitt, Forney, Texas.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents.

Proudly embracing the moniker of “Grumpy” bestowed by his 27 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, he leaves an enduring legacy of a life lived with the mindset of work hard, serve well, love freely and never give up. He will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to know him in the 72 years of his earthly life. A true American patriot, a 40-year military veteran and High Priest in his Church, he lived a life of faithful service to his fellow man and his Heavenly Father who has now called him home.

Services will be 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-Saints Stake Center, 2401 SW Kingsrow Road, Topeka, KS 66614. Military graveside honors will follow the service at 12 p.m., at Burlingame Cemetery, Highway 56, Burlingame. The family will receive visitors 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, Osage City, Kan.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert K. Hitt Memorial Fund and sent in care of VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, 107 N. Sixth St., Osage City, KS 66523. Condolences can be left at vanarsdalefs.com.

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