Farewell to a beloved chemist, professor and guardian of Westminster's history
Rremembering Dr. Dewey DeWitt
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 22:03
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- H. Dewey DeWitt, 89, passed away the evening of Monday, March 18 at Shenango on the Green where he lived in New Wilmington.. Arrangements will be announced by the Smith Funeral Home.
DeWitt was a Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Curator of the College Archives since 1995 and an active member of the faculty from 1956 through 1993.
"Dewey DeWitt was such a large part of our history here," President Richard Dorman said.
2012 Alumnus Alex Scull had a special bond with DeWitt.
"Dewey helped me write the history of the [Sigma Phi Epsilon] fraternity when I was working at the college," he explained. "He helped me do a lot of the research."
Scull said one of his fondest memories with DeWitt was during a walk around New Wilmington in search of the previous Sigma Phi Epsilon house.
"I had a photo of the old house, but I didn't know where it was," Scull said. "He not only could and the house, he knew what time period the photo was taken."
As Curator of the College Archives and a close friend of Paul Gamble, author of "Westminster: A History", De- Witt was a fountain of information regarding the college's records.
"Now that Dewey's gone there's so much of the history that is lost with him," Scull said. "A lot of Westminster's secrets and stories have now gone to their graves."
DeWitt is not only a notable historian of the college; he was also an accomplished chemistry professor.
"If you talk to those individuals who were chemistry majors back in the 50's, 60's and 70's, they'll tell you their love of chemistry, and for many of them, their success in their businesses came as a result from Dewey DeWitt," Dorman said.
President Dorman commented that DeWitt's dedication to the college will leave a lasting impact on those who knew him.
"I know there are going to be some people who are going to be upset about Dewey's death," he said.
Scull said he periodically checked up on DeWitt's health. After hearing of DeWitt's passing, Scull said he hoped DeWitt received a gift he had sent a few months ago.
"My heart sunk," Scull said. "I heard he wasn't doing well so I wrote him a letter and I never heard back."
Scull said he is honored to have known DeWitt. "He was such a Westminster icon," Scull said.
A memorial service will be held for DeWitt sometime after Easter.