He was born Feb. 8, 1924, the eldest son of William Jesse Douthitt and Grace Terree (Dickson) Douthitt.
In his youth, he attended Manhattan School and entered Greencastle High School, graduating in 1942. During his school years, he was a part-time employee at Kroger with Bob Dean and Chester Trout.
He was active in scouting and church camp at the First Christian Church in Greencastle.
Upon his marriage to Doris Marie Troutman in 1944, they both became active in the First Christian Church of Indianapolis, where they organized a young adult square dancing class.
He was employed at Allison's while attending college to receive his engineering degree. He was also employed at Ford Motor Company and was responsible for helping to set up the Forst plant in Kokomo.
He was also in the Masonic Lodge, where he became a 32nd degree Master Mason. His wife was active in Eastern Star.
He was very proud of his Irish and Cherokee Indian heritage on his father's side and a French Jewish heritage from his mother.
After the death of his parents, he and his family relocated to Sacramento, Calif. in 1959, where he worked for the state of California, overseeing engineering safety on the state's highways. He later retired from Menasco, Inc. After retirement, he became involved in the business of real estate rentals, which he continued to enjoy until his death.
He was a loving and caring man who enjoyed holidays spent with his family, of whom he was very proud. Being raised during the Depression, his family taught him many things. First was God, then education, cleanliness, no prejudices and that nothing in this world can't be accomplished if you try hard enough. And he accomplished much in his lifetime.
He is survived by son John Paul; daughters Dona, Terree, Rhonda, Doleen and Deanne; grandchildren Peter, Dave, Jessie, Warren, Natalie and Casey; great-granddaughter Rebecca; and loving sister Mary I. Hendrickson and her children Joe, James and Dixie, Brazil; and niece and nephew from South Bend; and niece Martha C. Tapp.
He was preceded in death by his younger brother Roy Edward Douthitt on Feb. 6, 1994, great-niece Melissa Sue Hendrickson on Sept. 13, 1980, brother-in-law Nelson Troutman, Indianapolis, and half-sister Martha C. Manthei.
He was buried Eastlawn Cemetery, Sacramento, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2009, including a Masonic Service and bagpipes. A celebration of his life was held after the service by close friends Bill and Nan Fellers, formerly of Greencastle.
As a memorial, donations are being made to the Greencastle High School Alumni Scholarship fund in his name. Donations may be sent to his surviving sister Mary I. Hendrickson, 9312 Kimberly Dr., Brazil, Ind., 47834.
"I stood above the clouds. This, for me, is the defining moment of any climb. All the exhaustion, the pain, the sheer misery of the cold washes out of you, when you stand at the summit. You're reborn. In that innocence, there is no fear of death or of life. There is no anger, no sorrow, no history and no future. There is only the moment. You've done it. You lived. Brother Bill, your lifetime was doing for those in need."