Joseph Wallace “Wally” Hewitt
Joseph Wallace “Wally” Hewitt of Mount Vernon, Missouri, died May 7, 2012 in Springfield, Missouri after complications with surgery.
Joe was born January 6, 1948 in Paola, Kansas to J.W. and Wilma Hamm Hewitt. Known as Wally growing up, Joe lived in Ottawa. After the death of this parents, Joe was raised by his Aunt, Maxine Gallagher and her husband Elmer and his Grandparents in Osawatomie where he graduated from Osawatomie High School in 1966. He attended University of Kansas, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelors of Art major in American Studies. In 1988 he graduated with an Associate’s degree in Computer Science at Johnson County Community College.
On December 7, 1971 he met the love of his life, Susan Calton. Joe and Susan were married June 21, 1976 and made their home in Lawrence, KS until moving to Mt. Vernon in 2005.
Joe started his career at KU’s Watson Library from 1971-76, working in cataloging and serials. In 1976 he moved to the KU Law Library managing the online serials database. In 1994 he left KU and went to Washburn University to work in the Law Library working in automation and the computer lab. Joe was very proud of the accomplishments he had made moving KU and Washburn forward in computer automation. However his most endearing moments were the interaction with the students that he taught as a volunteer instructor through the Western Civilization classes at KU in the Honors Programs. He loved helping students to get the information they needed to complete projects as well as assisting them with everything from mentoring to learning how to use a computer. Joe worked at Missouri State University doing what he loved at the time of his death.
Joe is beloved by many colleagues and was known in his circle of friends to fire up a good political conversation that would end with his wonderful laugh being heard throughout the room. He loved good blues music and could be seen at many an establishment where the Big Smith Band was playing. He told a friend,”it’s the poets, not the politicians, that initiate the real change in our society.”
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, J.W. and Wilma Hewitt, Grandparents Wallace and Jesse Pierce Hamm, B.J. and Ada Pearl Heckadon Hewitt and one nephew, Shawn Courtney.
Survivors include his wife, Susan Hewitt of the home Mt. Vernon, MO. Two brothers Doug Hewitt and wife Alice of Lawrence, KS, and their daughters Traci Hewitt of Leawood, KS and Lisa Tibbs and husband Brian of Springfield, MO, John Hewitt and wife Betty, and their daughters Kristi Holtz and family of Brewster, KS, Allyson McKinney and family of Newton, KS, and Jennifer Hewitt of the home. One sister Cathy Leaver of Osawatomie and her children, Lance Courtney and wife Megan of Gardner, KS and Catie Friend and family of Garnett, KS and his aunts, Maxine Gallagher of Paola, Doris Vasquez of Osawatomie, KS, Ruby O’Connor of Burlington, KS and Beverly Metz of Emporia, KS.
On June 16, 2012 there will be a celebration of Joe’s life through pictures and stories at his home in Mt. Vernon, MO with his friends and family.