Dr. Ross DeWitt of Worthington passed away peacefully surrounded by family January 30th, 2020. He was the son of Louis and Lorene DeWitt and born in Ponca, NE on November 24, 1927. When he was 3 years old, the family moved to Arnolds Park, IA. This is where Ross started 1st grade. In the years following, the family moved to a farm west of Milford, IA where he and his siblings attended Okoboji Consolidated school and later where Ross graduated from Milford Consolidated school.
Upon graduation he attended Iowa State University studying pre-veterinary medicine. He was then inducted into the US Navy and served aboard the submarine, USS Bergall SS 320 stationed in the Pacific fleet for 2 years. Upon discharge, Ross returned to Milford where he met his future wife, June Sathe, who was teaching music in Milford schools. He attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA that year. He and June were married May 29, 1949 in Jackson, MN, June’s hometown, and then transferred back to Iowa State University where he graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1954.
Three children were born to Ross and June; Diane, born in Ames, IA while they were in veterinary college. Thomas and Nancy were born in Worthington, MN where Dr. DeWitt was in practice with Drs. Shane and Post.
Dr. DeWitt served on many advisory boards while in Worthington. He was on the First Lutheran church board, Worthington Hospital board, served as chairman of the Worthington Airport Commission, and Treasurer of the Worthington Chamber of Commerce when they instigated the “fair share” membership fee. He was on the AARP State Legislative committee for 4 years, meeting in St. Paul and Washington DC. He served as president of the Regional Veterinary Association, and president of the Tri State Veterinary Association of Sioux City. He also served as president of the Minnesota Sales Barn Veterinarians. While practicing with Drs. Shane and Post, Dr. DeWitt spent many winters testing cattle for the States Bangs and T.B. Eradication program all over Minnesota.
The DeWitts built the Worthington Quik Stop Drive-in and operated it with Larry Lucht. The Worthington Dairy Queen was also built by Dr. DeWitt. Dr. DeWitt left his Worthington practice in 1974 to become the staff veterinarian for Hubbard Milling Company of Mankato. Later he became involved with Clark Taylormade Structures of Worthington. In 1984 he joined Grand Laboratories, a manufacturer of veterinary biologicals, and was responsible for sales in North Eastern US concentrating in Wisconsin and Iowa. After all of his other veterinary adventures, he opened up his own small vet practice in his basement of their lake home.
Dr. DeWitt enjoyed many hobbies such as traveling throughout many parts of the world. He was active as a snowmobiler in the infancy of the industry. He and his wife snowmobiled in Yellowstone National Park, the Black Hills, Northern Minnesota, as well as the local areas. He was a skydiver, licensed pilot, a scuba diver and fisherman. June and Ross hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon twice. They worked in the Hamilton Stores in Yellowstone National Park for 3 years as relief clerks when the college students went back to school. He enjoyed wood carving, throwing darts, and playing Bridge when he retired. They spent the winter months at their condo in Punta Gorda, FL.
He is survived by his 3 children. Diane, husband Dennis Duitsman of Round Lake, MN and their 3 children, twin sons Jesse and Jay and daughter Leah Bullard (Quinn); Dr. Thomas DeWitt, wife Linda of Carlos, MN and daughters Jodi (Chris), Ella and Brielle Flach; Tara, and son Travis (Danielle) and baby; and Nancy and husband Chief Master Sergeant David Fitzhugh and their 2 children, son Troy (Erica) and daughter Haley (Alex), and Mercy Payton of Sioux Falls, SD. He was preceded in death by June, his wife of nearly 70 years, brother Darrell, sister Veneta Ewen and her husband Warren, and brother Donald many years ago.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, February 17th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Worthington, MN, with Pastor Jeanette McCormick officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church.
Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.