Mr. Dewitt Stubbs – Aged to Perfection

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By DeeDee Dupree 

    Long time Central resident Dewitt Stubbs was born December 6, 1915. He is the oldest living graduate of Pride High School. He recently attended his “Class of 1934” reunion and enjoyed the experience as well as seeing so many people from his past. His niece, Lorita Bankston, attended with him and expressed the delight she felt watching him be honored at the reunion. He told her he had such a great time; he wanted to have another party very soon.

    Dewitt was born to parents Jabe and Tena Stubbs of Pride, La. who were share croppers on a farm. His family needed him on the farm as much as possible, but the entire family was incredibly proud of him on graduation day.

    Immediately after graduation, Dewitt began working at the Greenwell Springs Hospital. At that time, the facility was a tuberculosis sanitarium with patients from all over the state. Treatment at that time consisted of bed rest and proper nutrition.  Many years later drugs were developed and surgeries were performed at the hospital giving patients considerably better medical care.

    He began his career at the hospital as an orderly and quickly moved up the ladder. With the encouragement of the hospital administrator, he enrolled in business school at LSU. He received his degree and transferred into the accounting department of the hospital. After 38 years, Dewitt retired in 1974.

    He married Lillie May Browning in 1941. He absolutely loved Lillie Mae and the Browning family. Dewitt’s spare time included playing his guitar and working on his early model Ford.

    He and his wife lived in a little one room house on the grounds of the hospital. At that time, he made about $60 a month. Dewitt worked hard, saved money and was able to buy a small house on 8 acres of land for $1,200. Gradually, they were able to add on to the house and install running water and indoor plumbing.

    When asked what his greatest accomplishment was, he responded, “My children.” He has two daughters, Diane born in 1948 and Kathy born in 1954. The family stayed in their modest home until 1962 when they were finally able to move into a larger home in Bellingrath Hills subdivision.

    Speaking to his daughter Diane, you can hear the adoration in her voice for her father. “He is the best father anyone could ask for.”

    Those closest to Dewitt describe him as generous, kind and an exemplary father. His aid, Ethel could not say enough nice things about him.  She says she is always impressed at how tidy he keeps things and what a sharp dresser he is.

    Dewitt is a long time member of Zoar Baptist Church and enjoys the visits he receives at home from other members.

     After his wife died in 1982, he spent most of his time ministering and visiting with sick, elderly people who were unable to leave their homes. He stayed active and continued driving up until his 90th birthday. He stated Central had grown so much in the years he has lived here, and is impressed with how far it has come. However, he is unimpressed with the traffic all the development has brought in.

    Living happily in retirement and his golden years, Dewitt spends his days with his loyal, long-term companion, Sunshine, his eleven year old cat. He enjoys his daily coffee breaks with his neighbors, Burl and Helen Bailey.

    After 95 years, Dewitt paused to reflect on what he felt was the greatest invention he had seen in his many years.  He listed many, including, computers, telephones, indoor plumbing and advancements in automobiles.

    Dewitt Stubbs has made a positive impact on each person he has come in contact with. He is a loving man, father, grandfather and friend. 

    It only takes a few moments of speaking with those that know him and you quickly realize this is a person God placed on this earth for a long time for a reason. He blesses those he comes in contact with. 

     God Bless you, Mr. Dewitt Stubbs, we honor you and the incredible life you have lived.


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