Dr. Ralph E. Hitt died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
He was born on June 1, 1923, to James Lafayette and Josephine Meredith Hitt in Savannah, Tenn. He was educated at Tennessee State Teachers College and Vanderbilt University, receiving his doctorate from Vanderbilt in 1951. He taught at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Delta State University before coming to Mississippi State College for Women in 1964. He retired from MUW in 1986.
Dr. Hitt will be remembered by colleagues and students as a master wit, teacher and administrator; by many friends as a pretty good golfer at Green Oaks; and by his family as a world-class husband, brother, father, and grandfather.
He was married in 1949 to Jean McHenry in Murfreesboro. After her death in 1975, he married Virginia Rich Yancey in 1978.
In addition to his first wife, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Margaret Hitt, Josephine Bethel, and Catherine Slaughter; two brothers, Robert and Jim Hitt; and one grandson, Andrew Hendrix.
He is survived by his children - Drew Hitt (Sandy), Ann Hitt Brooks (Bill), James Hitt, Charlotte Yancy Hart (Jerry), Sheron Yancey Dunn, and Yvonne Yancey Widmer (Greg) - in addition to a sister, Virginia Hitt Patterson of Lewisburg; brother, John Hitt; 17 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Carrier Chapel on the MUW Campus on Wednesday, Feb. 2, with the Very Reverend James F. Carlyle officiating. Burial followed at Houston Cemetery, Houston, Miss.
Pallbearers were his grandsons.
Honorary pallbearers were Jerry Hart, Greg Widmer, Dennis Irwin and John Hendrix.
Memorials may be sent to Operation Ukraine, 419 8th St. South, Columbus, MS 39701.
Lowndes Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.