On January 4th, 2021, Lyle Leo Witt passed away at the age of 88. Lyle was born on November 3rd 1932, in Berwyn, Illinois to George and Edith Witt. He was blessed with 4 children within three years in the early 1960’s starting with John (Franziska), then Michael (David), and lastly his twin daughters, Eileen (Douglas), and Mary Ann (Amy). He cherished being a grandfather to Finnegan and enjoyed the company of the many family dogs. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert and his wife Mary Pat, sister Jane, and daughter Kathleen. Lyle is survived by his 4 children, ex-wife Donna, brother Tom and his wife Kathleen, his grandchild Finnegan, his brother-in-law William Leahy and his wife Lisa, and many nieces and nephews.
Having come from humble beginnings, Lyle worked to pay his way through St. Ignatius High School and Loyola University graduating in 1957 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics. That same year, Lyle was recruited to join the sales team at Bradner Smith & Co, an up-and-coming paper distributor in Chicago. In 1959, Lyle and his new bride, Donna (Leahy) moved to Aurora, IL where he enjoyed a very successful sales career for 25 years, retiring in 1981 while supporting his children at private universities. Lyle was the true definition of a self-made man. During retirement, Lyle was able to pursue his investment interests in the stock and precious metals markets while also studying eastern religions, traveling, and occasionally walking 18 holes. Among Lyle’s many interests, he loved Chicago sports where he witnessed “more dog teams than the Yukon”. Lyle’s love for hockey was manifested when he became a college hockey referee which he did in his spare time for several years.
At the age of 40 Lyle took up skiing so he could share his sense of adventure and love of the outdoors with his children. During this time, Lyle was also his son John’s baseball coach, his son Michael’s speech and acting coach, and his daughters’ Eileen and Mary Ann’s softball coach. Lyle loved coaching and teaching, and Lyle loved his family.
At the age of 68 Lyle made his long-desired move out West. He loved the mountains, sunshine and being in nature, and enjoyed living closer to his children. The last 20 years of his life, Lyle enjoyed the climates, outdoor activities, and his residences in AZ, UT, NV, and finally CO where he spent his remaining four years near his two sons. Lyle will be remembered for his humility, dry sense of humor, integrity, selflessness, and gentle disposition. Lyle never forgot his humble beginnings which was evidenced most clearly by the way he gave so freely to those in need. In addition to his exemplary role-modeling, the greatest gift that Lyle leaves behind is the close bond his four children formed over the last few years while making some tough decisions related to his declining memory. They weren’t really tough decisions at all, we just did what our Dad would have done. Goodbye you dear, sweet man. We miss you already.