Grateful for 'outstanding tribute' to Ensign Joseph Hittorff Jr.

To the Editor:

We wish to thank all the organizations, veterans and citizens who attended the military funeral and reception June 18 that was held at the First Congregational Church in Kent to honor Ensign Joseph Hittorff Jr., Marie Camp’s first cousin, who died on the Battleship Oklahoma after it was bombed at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941.

Marie’s family, the Rev. Melinda Keck and Jon Lafleur, with the men’s choir, planned a very moving and dignified church service and tribute for Joseph.

The U.S. Navy rendered full military honors at an impressive graveside service.

The family was presented with a Quilt of Valor by Sue Reich.

A special thank you to First Selectman Bruce K. Adams, who welcomed Andy at the April meeting of the Kent Lions Club.

Andy’s request for their financial assistance was met with a substantial donation by the Lions Club and by individual members.

The Kent community also responded with financial donations, and many residents brought desserts to the reception.

We also wish to thank Davis IGA, which catered the reception, and the invaluable assistance of John Grant, produce manager, and Kathy Totten.

Maureen Brady also deserves huge thanks for her help at the Community House on Friday and Saturday.

Thank you to Bagpiper Rick Morley, who volunteered his services playing the bagpipes before and after the funeral service.

The Kent Boy Scouts also responded by volunteering to handle traffic control at the Kent Green.

Special thanks to All-Star Transportation for providing a shuttle bus and driver.

The Kent Ambulance Association provided assistance with a backup ambulance in the event it was needed

We would be remiss if we did not mention John Lindsay, who made a personal financial donation and provided parking assistance at the Congregational Church.

Thank you to the Connecticut State Police and Kent Resident Trooper Andrew Fisher, who provided traffic control in front of the Congregational Church.

We also want to thank all the citizens and veterans who attended the funeral service and reception.

It was an outstanding tribute to one of our heroes of World War II who died serving his country. Ensign Hittorff will never be forgotten.

Andrew C. Ocif


American Legion Hall-Jennings Post # 153


Kathy Shemeley


POW/MIA CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc.