Jim Hite dies at 79; Atlanta Track Club leader was middle-distancer
Sad news from Georgia. The USATF Georgia Association and the Augusta Chronicle report the death of Jim Hite, an active official and athlete in the Atlanta Track Club. “Jim Hite, Millen, GA, served the association in many capacities вЂ” as an official, a master athlete, board member, coach and friend,” USATF reports. “Jim Hite was the consummate athlete, working out till the last. His mission was to demonstrate that age should not be a deterrent in the pursuit of a healthy life-style. Our sympathies to his wife, Joyce Hodge-Hite, and to his family.” The paper’s obituary said he died September 6, 2013, of apparent heat stroke following a physical therapy session and “his usual 4-mile run.” He competed at 2011 Berea nationals in the 8, 15 and 5K and was fourth in a Canadian run-bike meet in August. Our deepest condolences. And thanks to Don Burkett for the links.
Here’s the complete obituary:
MILLEN, Ga.вЂ”Jim Hite, 79, of Millen, Georgia, died September 6, 2013, of an apparent heat stroke following a physical therapy session and his usual 4-mile run. Jim was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Joseph Patrick Hite and Mildred Comte Hite, who both preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Hodges-Hite of Millen; two daughters, Jody Hite of Raleigh, N.C., and JoAnna Anderson of Savannah; two grandchildren, Patrick and Hannah Anderson, and two step-sons, Rex Hodges of Eastman and Jed Hodges of Dacula.
He was called Papa Jim by his six step-grandchildren. Jim was a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Toledo and of the Athenaeum of Ohio Seminary in Cincinnati and served as priest of the Catholic Church in Lyons for three years. Later he became a disc jockey for WCLA in Claxton and WKIG in Glennville.
He was also a lineman for Pembroke Telephone Company until he was approached to organize the first Bryan County High School football program. Because he was motivated to become a better coach and a good teacher, he attended Georgia Southern University and taught high school and coached for 19 years, the last six of which were at Statesboro High School.
His best-known coaching was girls softball and girls basketball at Bryan County High School and cross country at Statesboro High School and Southeast Bulloch High School. He is also past president of the Georgia chapter of the American Cancer Society. Since his retirement in 1996, Jim has been instrumental in several statewide organizations. He is an immediate past Board member of the Georgia Retired Educators Association and recent chairman of the Atlanta Track Club’s Masters Track and Field team.
At his death he was president of the Augusta Choral Society Council, an organization in which he had sung for several years. He was also president of Friends of Magnolia Springs State Park and had been since the inception of that group. Since 1996, his columns in the Millen News had accumulated a local following. Jim Hite was the consummate athlete, working out till the last.
His mission was to demonstrate that age should not be a deterrent in the pursuit of a healthy life-style. In August he placed fourth in the world in the International Triathlon Union Duathlon Championship in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
He had been representative of the Georgia unit of USA Track and Field at their national convention several years, during which tenure he served as an administrator, an official, and an athlete, having been a runner since 1978. Funeral mass for Jim Hite will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 7, at St Bernadette Catholic Church on 441 North Avenue in Millen.
Visitation will be at Crowe-Fields Funeral Home on Winthrope Avenue in Millen from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 7. A memorial service at Millen Baptist Church will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon, September 8, with interment to follow in Millen Cemetery. Memorials can be made to Millen Milers and More, Friends of Magnolia Springs State Park, Augusta Choral Society or any charity of your choice. Crowe-Fields Funeral Home of Millen in charge of arrangements.