After a short battle with cancer, Donald J. Hitchcock died peacefully May 13, 2002, joining his loving wife of 50 years, Muriel.
Mr. Hitchcock was born Feb. 4, 1925, in San Francisco, and later moved to Red Bluff, Calif., where he graduated from Red Bluff Union High School in 1942. During his school years, he received many speaking awards, a natural talent he carried throughout his life.
He joined the Navy in April 1943 and, after graduating from several flight schools, became an ensign and pilot. He was honorably released from active duty in 1945 and joined the Naval Reserve in 1952. When he retired from reserve duty after 20 years of service, he declared himself “the oldest lieutenant in the Navy.”
Mr. Hitchcock was employed at his grandfather’s insurance agency when he met and married Muriel A. Chaplin on Oct. 1, 1948. He soon transferred to Reno, Nev., where he became president of the Kiwanis Club, joined Reno Masonic Lodge No. 13, and was active in the Reno Community Theater for 11 years. He received many awards for acting, primarily in musicals, where he had a natural talent and passion for singing and comedy.
In 1960 he was transferred to Oakland, Calif., to manage the office of Fireman’s Fund American Insurance Co. In 1964 he was transferred to Seattle as the resident vice president. Residing in Bellevue for 15 years, he became active in several organizations, including the Washington Athletic Club, the Rainier Club and, with his new zest for boating and entertaining, Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club where, in 1977, he was commodore.
In 1977 Mr. Hitchcock moved to Anchorage, Alaska, as president of Alaska Pacific Assurance Co. His love for Alaska took him to Juneau, where he became director of risk management for the state and helped the State Risk Managers Association become more effective in the insurance industry. Alaska also rekindled his interest and activity in Freemasonry. He was past president of the Juneau Shrine Club and past master of Gastineau Lodge in Juneau.
In 1993 he retired and returned to Washington to be near his children and grandchildren. He and his wife made their home on Whidbey Island. He continued his activities in Freemasonry and was past president of the Shrine Club and Master of the Langley Lodge No. 218. Additionally, he was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters Court No. 52, National Sojourners Whidbey Island Chapter 534, Order of Easter Star Chapter 159, Knights Templar, and recently became a 33rd degree Mason.
God was also an important part of Mr. Hitchcock’s life. For the past several years he has served as chaplain to the MBYC. Both he and his wife were active participants in the Episcopal Church, where they met in 1948. For many years, he served as senior warden at the Episcopal Church in Mill Creek.
He is survived by two sisters, Helena Montgomery of Mound, Minn., and Joanne Bridges of Santa Cruz, Calif.; two sons, Robert Hitchcock of Federal Way and Richard Hitchcock of Port Angeles; three grandchildren, Jennifer Titterness, Bryant Hitchcock and Dawn Hitchcock; and a great-grandson, Riley Titterness, all in the Everett area.
A celebration of his life will be held at 1:30 p.m. May 30 at The Church of The Resurrection, 15520 Main St., Bellevue. A reception will follow at Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club, 9927 Meydenbauer Way SE, Bellevue. Arrangements are by Butterworth Manning Ashmore, 206-622-0949.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Shrine Hospital for Children, c/o Nile Temple, 6601 244th St. SW, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-2750.