Donnell Jefferson "Jeff" DeWitt, 72, longtime auctioneer and farmer at Sikeston, Mo., died July 25 at Missouri Delta Medical Center at Sikeston.
He began his career in the auction business as a tractor trader in 1973. In April 1976, he founded Jeff DeWitt Auction Company, which became one of the largest farm equipment auction companies in the U.S. He was known for his larger-than-life personality and his love of family, friends, and golf. He was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church.
Born October 18, 1943, at Sikeston, Mo., to the late Wallace "Link" and Geneva Newton DeWitt, he is survived by his wife of 55 years, Betty Sue Stallings DeWitt; two sons, Kevin (Tina) DeWitt and Gerald (Charlotte) DeWitt of Sikeston; six brothers, Lynell DeWitt, Lonnie (Shirley) DeWitt, Larry (Melanie) DeWitt, Gary (Debi) DeWitt and Phil (Teresa) DeWitt, all of Sikeston, and Steve (Laurie) DeWitt of St. Augustine, Fla.; a sister, Janice Sue Clayton of Little Rock, Ark.; five grandchildren, Daneka (Cody) Robertson, Nicole (Phil) Vonder Haar, Derek DeWitt, Brandon (Cathleen) DeWitt, and Brittany (Zach) Fayette; and one great-grandson, William Jefferson DeWitt.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Kylie DeWitt.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 29, at First United Methodist Church in Sikeston. Funeral services will be held at the church at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 30, with the Rev. Jennifer Moxley, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be: Charles Chilcutt, Darrell Cunningham, Kenneth Bell, Max Herron, Jack Holifield, Larry Lott, Mark Matthews, and Buddy Northcutt.
Services will be conducted under the direction of Nunnelee Funeral Chapel.