Bob Witt, linchpin of Getabout’s growth, dies
Updated 7:45 am, Wednesday, September 30, 2015
After more than a decade heading up New Canaan’s service for residents with transportation challenges, Bob Witt died last week after a brief battle with cancer. He was 82.
“He was a driving force behind the expansion of our transportation service,” Johnson said. “He was a real champion of it and during his time ridership rose to above 10,000 when it was about 6,000 when he started.”
As chairman, Witt led the expansion of Getabout’s fleet, which now includes five vehicles plus a large van, transitioning from large passenger vans to sports utility vehicles based on feedback from clients, Bitting and Johnson said.
Witt also oversaw the launching of the service’s “Medi-Rides” program, which took patients to medical appointments in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien and Wilton at no cost, the men said.
“With Bob’s passing, Getabout has lost an outstanding leader, and New Canaan has lost a lifelong friend to town seniors and shut-ins,” said Bitting, who was elected to succeed Witt last month. “Bob was on our board for over 14 years, and shepherded Getabout through its greatest period of growth and service expansion. He has been a dedicated private and public servant in the truest sense of the word, an unflagging champion.”
He graduated from Niagara University in 1955, and earned an Masters of Business Administration from Michigan State University in 1959. His 38-year career in marketing began in Detroit, Mich., with the advertising agency Maxon Inc.
Witt moved to Darien in 1965 after he began working in New York City for companies such as Colgate, American Home Products, and Grey Global. He moved to New Canaan in 1970.
He retired in 1997, and joined the Senior Men’s Club, where he was elected vice president of programming and later president of the group. In May 2013, he was honored by the group with its “Distinguished Senior Man,” award.
In 2012 he was given the New Canaan Community Foundation’s “Spirit of New Canaan” award.
He was an active parishioner of St. Thomas More Church in Darien along with his wife, Ruth.
In addition to his wife, Witt is survived by two sons, Ronald Witt of Greenwich and Robert Witt of Norwalk; a daughter, Robin Witt Allen of Wilton; three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Bob was predeceased by his parents and his brothers Adrian Witt, Thomas Witt and Edward Witt, and sister Mary Witt Sprowls.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, at St. Thomas More Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien.
Memorial donations may be sent to the New Canaan Community Foundation, 111 Cherry St., New Canaan CT. 06840. For more information about donating, contact the foundation at 203-966-0231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.