James Henderson Witt

August 12, 2011

Dr. James (Jim) Henderson Witt, 89, of Sherman, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2011, due to complications from a 10 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. Born in Mount Pleasant, Texas on Dec. 1, 1921, Jim was the son of Thelma Henderson Witt and Dr. James Estes Witt. He graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1939, attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas and graduated from Baylor Dental School in Dallas in 1944.
Jim frequently shared his three keys for happiness with his friends and family. He felt the key ingredients were a) something to do, b) something to look forward to, and, most important, c) someone to love. He lived — and loved — his life with loads of gusto.
Jim served as a Captain in Dental Corps of the United States Army and was assigned to several military hospitals in California in 1945 before joining the U.S. Army Occupation Forces in Germany. While in Germany, he attended several days of testimony at the famous Nuremberg War Trials.
In 1944, Jim met the love of his life, Lena Noah, of Sweetwater, Texas and they married in Modesto, California in 1945. She joined him in Germany, and after he received his honorable discharge, they returned to Texas where he started a dental practice in Sherman in 1947. He was affiliated with the Essin Clinic and practiced until his retirement in 1986.
Jim was humble, yet very outgoing, fun-loving, with a keen sense of humor and a unique laugh. He was happiest when surrounded by his family and many friends. He enjoyed golf, music, travel and was a passionate supporter of the Mount Pleasant Tigers (where he played center and linebacker), the Sherman Bearcats, the Baylor Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.
Jim was filled with exuberance, always positive and upbeat — every steak he ate was the best he's ever eaten, every football game was the most exciting he'd ever seen, and every band or performer that he heard was, simply, the best. His insatiable appreciation for ketchup and ice cream was well known.
He was a loving husband, a warm and generous father, and appreciated and respected by his many patients and devoted friends.
To his family's amusement, Jim's pockets often bulged with hand written instructions to help sharpen his golf game. Occasionally he would jot down tips for personal improvement. One of these notes was discovered recently — "Treat others with respect." This was a trait he practiced faithfully.
A service celebrating Jim's life was held on Monday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Sherman, where Jim was an active member. Dr. Darold Morgan and Reverend Jim Witt officiated the service. A reception in the Activity Center followed the services.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Lena; his daughter, Sally Shelton of Midland, Texas; and his son, Dan Witt of Los Angeles. Others include grandson, Cody Witt; granddaughter, Sara Shelton; son-in-law, Mike Shelton; brother, Bradley Witt; sister-in-law, Nancy Witt; niece, Beverly Wooten; and nephews Gary and Jim Witt; and nephew Jim Stewart.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his grandson, Tyson Witt Shelton.
The family would like to thank the staff of Pecan Point Memory Care Unit for the tender care they provided "Dr. Witt" and his family.
The family requests that memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th fl., New York, NY 10001; or the charity of your choice.
You may sign the online guestbook at www.dannelfuneralhome.com or call 903-893-1171.

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