Jack passed away in his Scottsdale residence on May 12, 2020 at the age of 98, surrounded by his loving and caring family.
Jack was born on April 11, 1922 in El Paso, Texas the son of Lester and Marguerite Hitchens. He was preceded in his death by his father, Lester, age 94, Albuquerque, New Mexico; his mother Marguerite, age 103, Scottsdale Arizona; his loving wife, Pearl (Sue), age 83, Phoenix, Arizona; and his sister, Marilyn Sherritt, Anchorage, Alaska.
Jack served in the Marine Corps for four years during World War II. He fought in the Pacific and was responsible for communications for his Unit. Jack and Sue met on Christmas Eve, 1945, right after his military release in Pasadena, California and attended the 1946 Rose Bowl parade together with friends as their first date.
After their marriage, they settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico where Jack worked for the Continental Telephone Company. Their children were both born in Albuquerque: Sheri and Bob.
In 1952 they moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico where Jack worked for the Ruidoso Telephone Company and oversaw the rebuilding of the company’s plant. Eventually, Jack and Sue purchased the company and built it up with new current technology.
In 1965, they sold the telephone company and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Jack retired at the young age of 43, and never worked again. He did, however, have many business ventures and hobbies that occupied him full time. He purchased a 13,000-acre Colorado cattle ranch in 1966, an Arizona Resort (The Sun and Sage, at Lincoln and Tatum in Paradise Valley, Arizona) in 1969, and a 42’ Grand Banks yacht in the early 1970s. Jack and Sue moved to Newport Beach, California to enjoy boating activities. In the early 1970s, Jack purchased 40 acres of land on the Upper Hoback River, in Bondurant, Wyoming, and, with a friend, built by hand, a rustic log hunting cabin. In the late 1970s Jack and Sue moved back to Paradise Valley, Arizona to be closer to their grandchildren. Jack maintained a very complete woodworking shop throughout his retirement and became an expert in his craft. In 2000 and 2001, Jack and his son, Bob designed and built a new 3,800 sq. ft log home on site next to the original hunting cabin.
After Sue’s death in 2003, Jack moved permanently to the Upper Hoback home and continued to complete the home construction and build furniture and other items in his shop. He remained in Wyoming for 15 years where he developed wonderful relationships with all his Upper Hoback neighbors. Most mornings one or more would stop by for coffee and rolls; and most evenings, around 4:00 pm, many would stop by for the Upper Hoback “prayer meetings.” Every winter he would return to Arizona for six weeks to spend the holidays with his family but was usually quick to return shortly after New Year’s Eve. His daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren, loved to visit with “Papa” in his home on the Upper Hoback every summer, where many very fond memories were made. His Grandson Brent and Great Grandson, TJ also traveled to the snow covered Upper Hoback every March to enjoy Papa’s company and the Wyoming winters.
In the Summer of 2017, he returned to Scottsdale Arizona, with his dog, Pepper, to live his remaining years with his family.
Jack is survived by Sheri Hodges, daughter, and Bill Hodges, son-in-law; Robert J. Hitchens, son, and Kimberly Hitchens, daughter-in-law; Christina R. Porter, granddaughter, and her husband, Paul; Brent M. Hodges, grandson; T J Hodges, Caiden Porter and Addi Porter, great grandchildren; and Pepper, his loyal canine and best friend.
We will all miss this wonderful father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend and our memories of him will always be with us along our continued journey of life.
Due to Coivd-19 service are limited to immediate family. In lieu of flowers you may still show your support and donate to Hospice of the Valley in memory of Jack.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lester J. "Jack" Hitchens, please visit our floral store.
Hospice of the Valley
1510 E Flower Street Phoenix, Phoenix AZ 85014