William DeWitt Hitchcock
ORLEANS—William “Bill” DeWitt Hitchcock, under the care of his loving daughters and hospice, passed away peacefully at home on January 17, 2021, at the age of 93.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Joan (Fancy) Hitchcock in March 2020 after 59 years of marriage. Bill was born in 1927 at Schenectady, N.Y. to William Jamieson Hitchcock and Anna (Renje) Hitchcock.
During the depression, Bill’s family moved to the Mott Haven section of Bronx, N.Y. to be near his maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles. Bill and his older brother George enjoyed exploring the streets of New York City, and have many colorful stories of adventures.
During the war years, Bill’s family moved to Lowell where his mother worked as a key employee of a parachute manufacturing company. Bill attended Newmann Prep School, Tabor Academy and Lowell High School. During high school, Bill worked at the Boston Navy Yard as an electrician’s assistant. At age 17 Bill joined the war effort by enlisting in the United States Marine Corp. He spent time near Tianjin, China, areas of the Pacific and California.
During the summers, Bill and George stayed with their paternal grandparents, near Mayo’s Duck Farm in Orleans. Bill worked at The Howard Johnson’s Restaurant and was one of the first lifeguards at Nauset Beach. After the war he attended Mergenthaler Linotype School in NYC, then worked at Wayside Studios in Yarmouth, the Oracle and Cape Codder in Orleans, the Honolulu Star Bulletin in Hawaii and Cope Typesetting in California.
Bill and Joan traveled much of the U.S. especially enjoying Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon. Bill and Joan returned to Orleans to raise three girls and start a new business creating unique hand-carved wooden signs and quarter-boards.
Bill also worked as a movie projectionist for the Orleans, Chatham, Dennis, Harwich, Wellfleet and Hyannis Cinemas as well as the Wellfleet and Dennis-Yarmouth Drive-In Theaters. With his electrical background, he was also the “fix-it man” and kept the shows running.
Bill was an exceptional chess player and taught several local boys to become superior players. Bill would often play many games at once, making moves over the phone with various opponents.
Bill enjoyed salvaging items, repairing them and giving them away. Bill was well known for his amazing workshop and his wide range of mechanical abilities.
Bill is survived by his close brother George R. Hitchcock, his daughters Gretel Norgeot (Jeff), Karen Corrigan, Leslie Hitchcock, as well as six grandchildren - Lee Ann, Marie, Nathan, Kimberly, Elaine and Michelle, and four great-grandchildren - Willow, Sarah, Violet and Vivian. There are also many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bill’s kind and easy going nature will be greatly missed.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Nickerson Funeral Home, for online condolences, please go to www.nickersonfunerals.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the professional services of The VNA Hospice of Cape Cod, P.O. Box 370, Hyannis, MA 02601.