John Allen Wittu was born January 18, 1943, in Texarkana, Arkansas to parents John J. and Esther R. Wittu. He grew up in the Miller County community of Mount Pleasant where he was a member of Few Memorial Methodist Church and Boy Scout Troop 11. He attended the original Union Elementary and graduated from Arkansas High in 1961. He went on to attend Texarkana College and then The University of Texas at Arlington where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1976 and was named a member of Apha Pi Mu, an engineering honor society.
While living in Arlington he served eight years as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 131. During this time his two sons, Roger and Spencer, both attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
John retired in 2016 after enjoying a 55-year career designing and building special machinery for loading and handling explosives and ordnance items from detonators, squibs and bursters to grenades, mortars, and howitzer projectiles. During these years he supervised and managed all aspects of automation projects from conceptual design, mechanical layout, manufacture, assembly, debug, installation, and run-off. His specialty became the loading of molten explosives such as TXT, Octol, and Composition B.
Working primarily within the ordnance industry, John has an extensive resume in designing, building, and installing custom equipment used in handling, pouring, and processing a wide range of projectiles and explosive compositions. In 2013 John was awarded a US Patent for the Equipment and Process for loading burster tubes, with the assignee being The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army. He is a Corporate Member of the Association of the United States Army and is a Life Member of the National Defense Industrial Association.
In John’s retired years he enjoyed being outside with his wife on his little slice of country in the city. He truly loved nature and all it had to offer. His other favorite pastime was working on vehicles. He liked to take a problem and solve it, and there was nothing he couldn’t figure out.
John is preceded in death by his father, John Wittu, sister Carolyn Malousek, son Roger Wittu, and cousins Jimmie Richardson, James Freeman, Rosalee Kaye, and Evelyn Ann Gray.
He is survived by his wife Kristina Wittu of DeSoto, TX, mother Esther Wittu, of Texarkana, TX, sons Spencer Wittu of Wylie, TX, and Alan Smith and wife Shannon of Carrollton, TX, daughter Cassandra Gann and husband Clay of Hideaway, TX, cousins Donna Anderson and husband Albert, Sue Beck and husband Robin, Gary Richardson and wife Vickie, Darlene Curtiss and husband Don, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.