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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
600 of 700 total Free Home Page Stories & Photos
(Also see our Subscribers Magazine Sample)
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Cecil Hittson, 1927-2011, R.I.P.

Obituary from Skagit Valley Herald
(Fishing on Grandy Lake)
A young, jaunty Cecil Hittson fishes on Grandy Lake back in the 1940s

      Cecil Earl Hittson, 83, passed away peacefully in his sleep at home March 5, 2011. Born in Rule, Arkansas on August 4, 1927, to May Anderson Hittson and Clifford T. Hittson, he was the eldest in a family of three children that included sisters Ethel Miller and Winnie Hittson.
      He grew up in a farming environment that included a lot of playing in the dirt and "noodling" for catfish throughout his childhood. The family moved to Lyman, Washington in 1935, and Cecil was proud to be a graduate of the small Lyman Elementary School; he then went on to graduate in the nearby Sedro-Woolley High School in 1946, where he was active in class activities and football. During his time in that area he enjoyed outdoor hunting and fishing activities. He stayed in contact with many fellow classmates and attended annual class reunions for both Lyman and Sedro-Woolley schools thru 2010.

    Any time, any amount, please help build our travel and research fund for what promises to be a very busy 2011, traveling to mine resources from California to Washington and maybe beyond. Depth of research determined by the level of aid from readers. Because of our recent illness, our research fund is completely bare. See many examples of how you can aid our project and help us continue for another ten years. And subscriptions to our optional Subscribers Online Magazine (launched 2000) by donation too. Thank you.

We recently visited our newest sponsor, Plumeria Bay, which is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.

      After high school graduation, Cecil enlisted in the U.S. Army and served two years in Japan. After serving in the US Army, he began work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. He worked there for 33 years, starting in the Electrical Shop, and eventually retiring as Supervisor of Nuclear Inspection in 1982. He was active in softball and basketball programs at PSNS.
      Cecil married Betty Osborne, also of Sedro-Woolley on April 6, 1951. They were married for 59 years, and had two daughters, Patricia and Pamela. Cecil was preceded in death by his mother and father, May Anderson Hittson and Clifford T. Hittson, sister Winnie Hittson and daughter Patricia M. Rothenberg. He is survived by his wife, Betty Jean Hittson of Belfair, daughter Pamela Ramstad of Belfair, granddaughter Katie Rothenberg of Bellingham, grandson Jeffrey Rothenberg of Ballard, grandson Michael Barnett of Belfair, grandson Scott (Kate) Thompson of New Jersey, granddaughter Jamie Durham of Port Orchard, son-in-law Steve Rothenberg of St. George, Utah, son-in-law Tim Ramstad of Belfair, as well as three nieces Laura, Stephanie, and Corrine and nephew Scott, all of the Sedro-Woolley area.
      As a husband, father, and friend, Cecil was known to always be there for anyone who needed him. In addition to family gatherings, Cecil also enjoyed many, many friendships through golfing, snowbirding and RV'ing, sharing humor, and just using his big brown eyes and smile to brighten anyone's day. He had reportedly fished every river in Washington, had enjoyed traveling to numerous states and foreign countries, and especially enjoyed listening to others' stories as well as sharing his own stories of life and travel. In his later years, he enjoyed photography, his computer, numerous new electronic gadgets, and mowing with his riding mower---sometimes including not only his lawn, but others' and neighborhood street-edge and cul-de-sac areas.
      A celebration of life open-house will be held Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the Eagles Club in Belfair, 80 Northeast Alder Creek Lane, Belfair, Wa 98528 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Cecil will be laid to rest, next to his daughter Patti, at Twin Firs Cemetery in Belfair at a later date in a family ceremony.

      Journal ed. note: Cecil was an outdoors guy. I soon discovered that after meeting him. I had heard of him as a legend at the all-school picnic down at Riverfront Park almost 20 years ago. I think it was Ray Sundal who told me about when he was a kid in Lyman, he was always transfixed whenever he saw a guy named Cecil Hittson, who could be seen with fishing pole in hand, any time of the day or night, walking towards the river, leading admiring children as if he were the Pied Piper of Hamlin. When I finally met Cecil about a decade ago I realized he was even more fun than the picture that had been painted for me. Chances were that you would be laughing with him within ten minutes. He took me for a drive around his beloved Lyman and pointed out the highlights that I had largely forgotten since growing up a couple miles west of there. As we passed the Koop grocery store in downtown Lyman last week, Bud Meyers and I were recalling when Cecil used to work there.
      He was a fisherman first and foremost, a bon vivant and a wit for sure, and loved to barbecue and grill, wearing his Kiss the Cook apron. Do you have memories of Cecil that you would like to share? Please email us. We have two of his stories on the Journal site and we will soon have more. His first chapter on fishing: and his memories of the famous 1950 fire in the Lyman Tavern.
      We already miss him, and we would love to hug Betty Osborne Hittson, who Cecil explained was the most beautiful girl he ever met. And she still is.

Story posted on March 28, 2011 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them

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(bullet) Our newest sponsor, Plumeria Bay, is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 90 years continually in business.
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Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley — doubling in size for RVs and camping in 2011.
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