Charles Jefferson Hitt, 72, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, at the Karmenta Center in Madison, Wis.
Charlie was born in Edgemont, S.D., on Oct. 25, 1935, to Charles Hitt Sr. and Jane Beeson Hitt. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his sister, Jane McAndrew of Oshkosh, Wis., her husband John; nephews Jeff McAndrew of Fond du Lac, Wis., Scott McAndrew of Madison; niece Sarah Kempainen of St. Paul, Minn. and their families. He is also survived by cousins Eula Ann Bowling of Dexter, Mo., and her family, Marjorie Taylor Henderson of West Plains, Mo., plus many other extended family members in or near Cape Girardeau and Advance, Mo. On his mother's side he is survived by George Acker of Greeley, Colo., and the families of his cousins Lawrence, Jim and Joe Acker of Gering, Neb., and Lincoln, Neb.
Charlie was a graduate of Alliance High School, Alliance, Neb., and later was a teacher there. His educational accomplishments include a bachelor of arts degree from Chadron State University, Chadron, Neb., a master of arts degree from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He earned his doctorate in 1991 at the age of 56, an accomplishment he considered to be one of the highlights of his life. He later served as a researcher in library science and evaluation at the university. His other experiences included teaching roles in English and German at the Blue Earth City Schools in Blue Earth, Minn., audiovisual librarian at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colo., and professor of library science at Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn.
Charlie spoke fluent German and made many trips to his beloved city of Leipzig, Germany, where he attended music festivals, art museums and practiced one of his favorite activities in Europe, that of riding their beautiful "ICE" train system and making friends wherever he traveled. He often spoke of another highlight of his life, attending the Bach Festival in Leipzig and hearing concerts in the church where Johann Sebastian Bach performed and is buried. His greatest love was classical music and he could write reviews of concert performances as well as any great music critic. He was also a talented competitive bridge player, a lover of Shakespeare, reading and biking, as well as a raconteur who could entertain friends and family with his comical and engaging stories.
There will be "A Gathering: Remembering Charlie" at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Ave. in Madison, after which he will be taken to Alliance for burial alongside his mother and father in the Alliance Cemetery. Prior to burial, a traditional Episcopal funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home Chapel in Alliance.
In lieu of flowers and according to Charlie's wishes, please send memorial gifts to Wisconsin Public Radio Association, 1821 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, or to the Madison Bach Musicians, 5729 Forsythia Place, Madison, WI 53705 or the charity of your choice. Condolences for the family may be sent to Ryan Funeral Home or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.