LeRoy Owens DeWitt, Jr. succumbed after a hard-fought, years-long battle to the ravages of Lewy Body Dementia on 1 August 2020, a week after his 82nd birthday. He was born 23 July 1938 in Show Low, to LeRoy, Sr. and Lucille Clawson DeWitt, joining a 5-year-old brother Rodney Clawson DeWitt. Two more siblings, Loran and Loris joined the family before they moved to Snowflake in 1944, settling in a home across the street west of the tennis courts on the high school campus. Three more brothers joined the family there.
He attended the Snowflake schools, 1st grade through high school during which time he also was the town paper boy for several years. School and lessons were something he endured so he could participate in sports, which he dearly loved. He was a 4-year, 4-sport letterman, picking up the nick-name of Sunday Shoes, because he put on a Sunday Shoe as a kicker on the foot ball team. He also played left end on the team, and during his Senior year, when the team won State Championship, was 2nd in the nation with 90 points scored between extra points and field goals kicked and touch-down passes scored.
He graduated from Eastern Arizona College in 1958, after which he served a 2-year mission for the LDS Church in the Northwestern States Mission, which at that time consisted of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the west half of Idaho. He married the girl next door, Mary Lou Warner, on 2 June 1961 and attended ASU while she taught at East Mesa Junior High for the next 3 semesters. In February 1963, they moved to Show Low where he was employed by Smith-Heywood Freightlines as a pick-up, delivery driver. He worked for them, and then for the companies who followed them (WestEx, Delta, Johnson, and Saia), for the next 42 years, retiring in July 2005. He participated on many sports teams in the area during all those years, excelling in basketball and slo-pitch softball. He also played a lot of tennis and enjoyed a number of years of pickle ball before his health ruled that out.
He loved riding his motorcycle and set a 58'4" record jump on the straight-away of the barrel racing at the rodeo in the years that was included in the annual rodeo.
In the late 60's, they started a vacuum sales and service business in the converted carport of their home. He kept up with that business, in addition to everything else all those years, until his failing health necessitated no more repairs.
He was a lifelong faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in five different bishoprics, in various Stake and Ward callings, on two missions with his eternal companion and for seven years at the Temple in Snowflake. He delighted in serving his fellow man, in whatever capacity he could, especially shoveling snow for neighbors together with his family, helping with building projects (homes, barns, or ball fields), as a sports director, both with the Little League and in the Church sports programs.
He and Mary Lou had ten children, eight of whom survive him: Leroy, III, Caryn (Jay Gleason), Wallace Rodney (Felicity), Shela (Pat Goodman), Joseph Loran (Amber), Lorna (Richard deCarvalho), Mary Lou (Champ Garvin), and Marcia (Brett Bennett). He is also survived by 35 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, as well as by his brothers: Rodney (Nila), Loran (Della), Leslie, Lyon (Beth), and Lawrence (Deanna), and his sister, Loris.
He was so grateful for the many friends and relatives who took the time to visit and reminisce with him when he was confined to a hospital bed. His kindness, honesty, and sense of humor stayed with him in spite of other encroaching incapacities. He was also thankful for Accord Hospice who did so much to help Mary Lou with his needs during the past five months, especially Jessica and Rinda who were so kind and constant. He will be dearly missed.
A viewing will be held at Silver-Creek Mortuary on Highway 77 North of Taylor at 10:00 A M to Noon, on Friday, August 7th, with a graveside service at Show Low Cemetery at 1:00 P.M. Feel free to bring along a chair and masks.
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