Obituary for Joel Rueben Hitt, Jr.

Joel Reuben Hitt, Jr. -- Age 86, a native of Clinton, MS, and resident of Mobile since 1955, died on Monday, June 2, 2003 in a local hospital. Mr. Hitt was a 1939 graduate of Mississippi College in Clinton, MS, where he was a 10 varsity letter athlete in football, basketball, baseball, and track, and where he was president of the student body in his senior year. He was selected to the all-conference teams in football and basketball his last two years at Mississippi College. He was also selected to the Williamson Alternate All-American Football Team, and played in the 1938 Blue-Gray All-star football game. After college, Mr. Hitt played one season of professional football for the Cleveland Rams in 1939 in the National Football League and one season of professional basketball in 1940 for the Goodyear Wingfoots in the National Basketball League. He went on to become coach and athletic director at Central High School in Jackson, MS. In 1942, Mr. Hitt entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent. He served in FBI offices in San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Jackson (MS), New Orleans, FBI Headquarters, Washington Field Office, and Quantico, where he served as Firearms Instructor. In 1955, he was transferred to the Mobile Division where he was the Police Training Coordinator, National Academy Coordinator and Principal Firearms Instructor. Mr. Hitt retired from the FBI in 1977 after a 35 year career. He went on to work for the Mobile County Sheriff's Department as a training coordinator for several years. During his career in law enforcement, Mr. Hitt served as President of the Alabama Peace Officers Association and was inducted into the Alabama Peace Officers Hall of Fame. For his successes in sports, Mr. Hitt was also inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Dauphin Way Baptist Church for 47 years, where he served as a deacon.

Mr. Hitt was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Evelyn Eddleman Hitt. He is survived by his two sons, Joel R. (Ceree Dalton) Hitt, III of Lawrenceville, GA and Richard (Linda Turpin) Hitt of Mobile; three sisters, Flora Taylor of Pensacola, FL, Lucile Hollingsworth of Clinton, MS, and Carolyne Priester of Natchez, MS; and two grandchil-dren, Derek Hitt and Teagan Hitt of Mobile. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Friday, June 6, 2003 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held from the chapel of Radney Funeral Home on Saturday, June 7, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. Internment will be in Mobile Memorial Gardens. Funeral arrangements by Radney Funeral Home, 3155 Dauphin Street Extension, Mobile, AL.