Pacific View Mortuary & Memorial Park

3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA


Mary Jo Hitchner

October 7, 1929March 7, 2020

Mary Jo Hitchner, age 90, passed away peacefully on March 7, 2020. Born on October 7, 1929, in St. Joseph, Missouri, she was the daughter of Joseph Vance and Mary Edna Willhite. She graduated from Missouri University in 1951 and moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she started her career as an elementary school teacher. There she met and married Alton J. Hitchner, Jr. on February 13, 1954. Mary Jo was a loving mother to her son Joseph Mark Hitchner and daughter Jill Ann Picone, doting grandmother to her grandson John Nicholas Picone, and a dear friend to many. She showed a kind and giving heart through her leadership in P.E.O., Delta Gamma, Assistance League, United Methodist Women, P.T.A., and Saddleback Philharmonic. Known for her wit and love for life, she and Al often hosted dinner parties and were part of many outings and adventures with family and friends. Mary Jo will truly be missed. Services have been postponed at this time; please check this website regularly for updates. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that any donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mary Jo Hitchner

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Julie Ficke

March 24, 2020

Jill and I met at ASU before college even started. I was lucky enough to have her as my next door neighbor. Jill was new to Arizona and came all the way from Southern California! I remember being so impressed by how brave she was to do that. And, I also remember how much Jill talked about her mom.

It was quickly apparent that Mary Jo and Jill had a very special relationship. Not only did Jill adore her mother, but her mother adored her. When I finally met Mary Jo, I felt like I was meeting a celebrity as Jill made her seem so very special. Well, she was!!

Not only was Mary Jo warm and friendly, she was a strong, loving, smart, and supportive woman - and an amazing role model. I know that her legacy will live on through Jill (and Mark) and all those who knew and loved her. And, I am so grateful that she gave us Jill!

Angela Butkus

March 23, 2020

I remember going with Jill to her home during our college years and couldn’t have felt more welcomed by Mrs. Hitchner. She raised a great daughter who shares her welcoming spirit and will always be one of my best friends. My prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Marge Lewis

March 23, 2020

I came to know Mrs. Hitchner through my friendship with Jill, which began in college. Mrs. Hitchner was always so warm and welcoming whether I was part of a college group of girls staying in their home in Mission Viejo or returning to their home as an adult joining Jill on a golf trip. Mrs. Hitchner always had a ready smile, and I always felt so welcomed by her. She was special and will be missed.

Lynn Emrick

March 23, 2020

I have known the Hitchner family since 1976 when I became a sorority sister of her daughter, Jill. Jill's college friends were always welcomed into their home for weekend and holiday visits. After college graduation my family and I continued to socialize with the entire family every time we were in town. We would visit every August and not only was getting together with Jill and her parents an annual tradition, but her parents would always do something special for our daughter to celebrate her August birthday. Mary Jo was kind, thoughtful, funny, witty, warmhearted and generous. She will truly be missed by our entire family. May she rest in peace next to her beloved husband Alton!

Paulette Hitchner

March 21, 2020

I had the privilege of meeting you more than eight years ago, and what a wonderful legacy you leave behind.

The first time we met you eloquently illustrated the undeniable love for your family. You spoke for hours about your beloved husband, and the wonderful times you had together. Your stories were filled with devotion that you constantly served your family. Simply put, it was who you are.

You were always positive even in the toughest of times. You are a beautiful example of fortitude, compassion, intelligence, generosity, and grace.

Everyone wants their life to matter and to make a difference. Mom, you did that every day of your life. Serving your community, championing the under dog, and caring for your mom and husband in their final days. Not once did I hear you complain, but rather you lived your life to the fullest.

Your legacy consists of your two successful and independent children, your son, Mark, daughter, Jill and your grandson, Nicholas, who all love you dearly. Two in-laws, myself and John, sharing in the joy of being a part of your family. You also leave behind dear friends, and those you assisted throughout the years.

Though we will miss you dearly, Mom, you are with your beloved husband, and leave a legacy that will continue to burn bright for generations to come.

Mark Hitchner

March 21, 2020

My Mom always put Jill and I first. Although when we were young I'm not sure I at least appreciated what that meant. Every summer we would launch on a 1-2 week vacation in our station wagon with Dad stoically at the wheel and my Mom with a tour guide magazine navigating us to a national park, historical monument, Indian ruin, or some other significant spot. For the most part all Jill and I cared about was if the motel we were staying in had a swimming pool. It wasn't until I was in college that I realized most of my friends had never seen or experienced all the different places I had been and things I had seen. Thanks Mom.

Mom wasn't a big sports fan. In fact she really wasn't one at all until the football play offs started. Her only interest then was which teams were going to play in the Super Bowl so she could buy the correct colored napkins, plates and cups for Mom and Dad's famous Super Bowl party that took a week of preparation.

Mom also had a sense of humor. I remember after getting out of college and starting my first job that actually provided insurance telling Mom and Dad that they were the beneficiaries and that if I met my demise while on the job the payout to them was substantially higher. I talked to my parents every couple of weeks telling them about my job and what it was like. I was talking with Mom one time and was discussing a job at a well site where the well started to get out of control and if plan B didn't work plan C was to run. She was quite for a few seconds and then asked "Would that have been an on the job accident?"

Finally, I know Mom is at peace now and with my Dad. I'm sure the first thing he said to her when they met back up was "Mary Jo what took you so long?"

Jill Picone

March 16, 2020

John Picone

March 16, 2020

I cannot say Goodbye to my Mother-in-Law, Mary Jo Hitchner. Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease. Jill and I have been saying goodbye to her mother for the past 13 years. What I would like to say is “THANK YOU”.
Thank you for the beautiful gift of your beloved daughter, Jill. Thank you for welcoming me into your family. Thank you for showing me the wisdom of living a life full of good friends and laughter, a life of serving others and philanthropy and a life of modesty and strength.
Rest assured your daughter and grandson have learned well these characteristics of your life and taken up your torch.
l always knew I was your “favorite son-in-law” and we would joke that I was also your ONLY son in law! THANK YOU, MOM, I LOVE YOU!

Jill Picone

March 15, 2020

Jill Picone

March 15, 2020

And to think it all started with a mixed-up blind date!