Julius R. Chitwood
422nd Regiment, 2nd Bn
106th Infantry Division
Obit 2008-04-24: Julius R. Chitwood Columbus, Indiana

Julius Richard (better known as Jack) Chitwood, 86, died at 7:39 a.m. Monday, April 21, 2008, at Columbus Regional Hospital. He was born June 1, 1921, the son of Hoyt Mozart and Florence Umfrid Chitwood, at the family home in Magazine, Logan County, Arkansas. He graduated as valedictorian of the 1938 class of the local high school and in 1942 was a cum laude graduate of Ouachita Baptist College.

From 1942 to 1946, he served in the infantry in the Army of the United States, rising to the rank of major, and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge while serving on the staff of the
2nd Battalion, 422nd Infantry, 106th Division (The Golden Lion Division).

While the division was stationed at Camp Atterbury, Ind., he married, on Aug. 6, 1944, Aileen Newsom, the daughter of a pioneer Bartholomew County, Ind., family. Their marriage of 63 years is terminated by his death. Subsequent to his Army service, he taught music for the Edinburgh, Ind., schools, received a master of music degree from Indiana University in 1948, and served as music librarian for Roosevelt College in Chicago while pursuing a master of arts degree at University of Chicago, which he received in 1954. From 1951 to 1953 he was humanities librarian at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

In 1954 he joined the staff at Indianapolis Public Library until 1961, when he became executive director of the public library in Rockford, Ill. During the period he was there he was active in the community and in Illinois Library Association, serving on committees and the executive board, including as president, the state library’s advisory committee, the University of Illinois School of Library Science advisory committee and as chairman of National Library Week in Illinois. He was one of the leaders in the development and organization of the System Libraries in Illinois designed to provide better service to all the state’s citizens. Concurrent with his Rockford position, he led the organization and development of Northern Illinois Library System and served as its director from 1964 to 1975. He was selected as Illinois Librarian of the Year in 1974.

In Rockford, he was very active in Unitarian-Universalist Congregation, serving two terms as president during the period of construction of the Belluschi-designed building in the mid-’60s. He also represented the congregation on the association’s district board for one term. His other community activities included Rotary and University Club membership, service on the symphony board and United Fund leadership positions. A life member of American Library Association, he had served as president of the Administration Division, on the board of Adult Services Division, and was chairman of Public Library Services Division which revised public library standards. Following his retirement in 1981, he and his wife continued their world travel hobby, which eventually resulted in visits to 41 foreign countries as well as 47 of the United States.

He and his wife lived in Bloomington, Ind., for six years, from 2001 until moving to Columbus, Ind., in October 2007. Surviving are his beloved wife of 63 years; sisters, Emma Kate (the late Oatman L.) Rogers of Magazine, Ark., and Jeanette (William E.) Riddle of Sun City West, Ariz., and their families. In keeping with Jack’s wishes, there will be no calling or funeral service. Cremation is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jacobs School of Music, in care of Indiana University, The Music Building, 1201 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN 47405; or to Hospice of South Central Indiana. Arrangements were made by Hathaway-Myers Chapel on Pearl Street.
Page last revised 07/13/2008