Hazell Dean Hitt, 83, of Columbia, died April 6, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013 | 1:40 p.m. CDT

Hazell Dean Hitt, long-time resident of Columbia passed away at her home Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Services will be held at Columbia’s Memorial Funeral Home. Visitation will be Friday, April 12, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and Funeral Services will follow from 11:00 Am to 12:00 noon. There will be a private burial at Jacksonville Veterans Cemetery at a later date.

Dean led a full and active life in her chosen field of Finance, both advisory and consultation. She was very active in the Annual Ridgway Family Reunion and worked hard to ensure all were apprised of any “family happenings” during the year. Hers was a life well lived and she will be sorely missed by family, friends and colleagues.

Dean owned and managed several businesses during her business career, she was a very versatile manager, these businesses ranged from the hospitality business with a presence in 38 states, which eventually was merged with a NYSE company, professional corporations, software, dealer in commodities, rental property, etc. She had many outstanding talents.

She retired from the business world at age 50 and dedicated herself to what she really loved, music, ballet, gardening, her pet dogs and gourmet cooking. She received an award from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, she was a serious concert pianist.

She also was written up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and other business journals, for her criticism of new Tax Laws in the mid 1980’s. She was a lifelong member of the Eastern Star.

Dean never had any children of her own, she raised four children. Survivors include her daughters, Debbie, Donna, Deana Hitt also husbands and kids and Rudy Mendez II (Robynn) and kids; sisters Anna Ruth Yelvington, of Columbia, Stella Mae (Butch) Erwin of San Antonio and Mary Helen Niemeyer of St. Louis, half-brother Larry (Brenda) Rippeto of Hallsville and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

In 1980, she became engaged to Rudy Mendez, a former US Marine Vietnam era veteran and Tax Manager of a CPA firm. They were very dedicated to each other and lived together for the past 33 years, in Columbia.

She was preceded in death by her first husband Lt. Col Don Kirkham, US Air Corps fighter pilot of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, her second husband Dick Hitt and brother, James Ridgway and half-brother Harry Rippeto.

Memorials are suggested to the Missouri Humane Society or the Heart, Lung or COPD organizations.

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