James P. Dewitt

July 28, 2014

Dewitt, James Obituary

"More words, count less," from the Tao Te Ching were words he used often with those who knew of his appreciation of the teachings of Lao-Tse, the ancient philosopher and poet of ancient China and founder of Taoism.

James was born to James and Alma Johnson DeWitt on October 27, 1948 in Washington, DC. He referred to himself as "Alma's boy," in honor and remembrance of his mother who he lost at the age of 9.

Shortly after graduating from Roosevelt High School in the District, James joined the U.S. Air Force where he trained as a medical assistant. His 3-1/2 year enlistment included a tour of duty in Vietnam.

After he completed his military service, James enrolled in Howard University and earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology and a Masters in social work. He worked for several federal agencies before taking a position with the DC Department of Human Resources. In 1980, James joined the DC Superior Court as a probation officer for youthful offenders. He retired in 2000 from the adult probation division of the DC Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

James, who preferred to be called by his surname "DeWitt," was an ardent student of Asian martial arts, especially Tai Chi with its focus on movement and meditation. He was a gifted horticulturist who understood the secret life of plants.

He will be remembered by friends and family for his loyalty, intellectual curiosity, droll wit and generosity.

James is survived by a brother: James P. Dewitt III; a sister: Renee DeWitt Burnette (William); four nieces: Christina, Crystal, Kiaran, Ashley; and two nephews: Andre and Jordan.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday August 21, 2014 at R.N. Horton's Funeral Home, 600 Kennedy St. NW, Washington, DC 20011. Interment will be private.


I dedicate this to my beloved brother James Pacey DeWitt Jr., who understood that it served no purpose to hide his light, and in his own way has always encouraged me to do the same.


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Williams, Marianne. A Return to Love. HarperCollins Publishers. New York, 1992.



August 21, 2014
11 a.m.

Memorial Service
R.N. Horton's Funeral Home

600 Kennedy St. NW
Washington, DC 20011
Get Driving Directions

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