FRANCIS HOYT VITTETOW
Francis (Frank) Hoyt Vittetow, 93, died on November 7, 2014 at the Adventist Nursing Care Center in Orlando, Florida after short-term critical care with VITAS/HOSPICE. His previous residence was in Winter Park, Florida and he was a native Kentuckian.
Frank was born April 3, 1921 in Evansville, Indiana to Green Thomas (G.T.) Vittetow and Ida Ligon Vittetow, and had two brothers, James (who drowned in 1935) and Leon (who died in 1918). Since G.T. fought with Company B, 10th Kentucky Calvary on the Confederate side of the War Between the States from 1861-1865, Frank was acknowledged as the youngest descendant and son of a Civil War Veteran in Kentucky and most likely America. His father served under the direct command and knew personally General Robert E. Lee, Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Armies. Frank served as a Mason, Shriner, and a proud member of the Civil War Veterans Club.
Educational accomplishments included being in the first class ever to graduate from the new Sebree High School in June 1939. He played two years on the high school basketball team, and in his third year was voted the Outstanding Boy in School. During high school he served on the staff of the Sebree Banner. After high school, Frank joined the Army and was honorably discharged. College degrees included a B.S. in Chemistry/German from Murray State University (Student Body President), and a Masters Degree in Education from George Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1947, Frank met his future wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Prather, while on a Thanksgiving holiday vacation in Sebree, Kentucky. Betty was in Nursing School in Miami, Florida, and they were introduced by her father, Jake Prather, who was the train station Depot Master. They married October 15, 1949, and recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Frank Vittetow was well-educated with a great sense of duty, perseverance and vision. His first professional intent was to become a doctor. He was accepted twice to the Louisville Medical School, Louisville, KY, but could not attend due to the birth of their first child, Lelia Diane, in 1950. His profession then switched to education, moving his family to Madisonville, Kentucky; Morehead State University; Manila, Philippines, and Vientiane, Laos. A second child, Frank, was born in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1954. James Prather was born in Manila, Philippines in 1959, as was Thomas Ligon in 1961. In 1966, Frank left his job as Educational Advisor to the Ambassador, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Vientiane, Laos and returned to Frankfort, Kentucky as Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction for Kentucky. From 1958-1966, Frank introduced the world to his family by traveling around the globe three times and visiting 26 countries. He was a great educator and diplomat, with myriad accomplishments produced ahead of his time.
Frank Vittetow was an honorable gentleman, loyal husband, great father, one of high standards, moral character, easy-going humor, and known for his kindness and compassion. He always spoke to strangers and made them feel special. His first loyalty was to his wife, Betty, and the four children, always thinking of their well-being first until the day of his passing.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Prather Vittetow, 89; daughter, Lelia Diane Carnevale, Captain, U.S. Navy, (retired), 64 (Carlsbad, CA); Frank Vittetow, FEMA, 60 (Frankfort, KY); James Prather Vittetow, international pilot, American Airlines, 55 (Frankfort, KY); and Thomas Ligon Vittetow, President, TCS Media, 53 (Maitland, FL). Grandchildren include Jacob Vittetow (Frankfort, KY), Lizzie Vittetow (Frankfort, KY), Trey Vittetow (Maitland, FL) and Casey Vittetow (Maitland, FL). Great grandchildren include Carter Shane Morgan (Lizzie Vittetow).
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Adventist Nursing Care Center, Orlando, Florida from 10:00-11:00 a.m,, officiated by Dr. Harold W. Custer, Senior Pastor of St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Winter Park, FL. Funeral arrangements have been made through Baldwin Brothers Cremation Society, Winter Park, FL. Donations can be made in Frank Vittetow’s remembrance to VITAS/HOSPICE, 2201 Lucien Way, Maitland, Florida 32751. A final internment of ashes will be made in Sebree, Kentucky in April 2015 beside his mother Ida Ligon Vittetow and his brother James Vittetow.