Walter Earl Hitchcock

January 1, 1936April 6, 2018

Walter Earl Hitchcock was born in Sandy Creek, New York on January 1, 1936 to Donald and Thelma Hitchcock.

He graduated from Pulaski High School in upstate New York in 1953, and spent 1 semester at Purdue University before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1954. He spent 12 years in the Air Force as a Bomb Navigation Technician. He was Honorably Discharged in May 1966 and immediately began his career at IBM. He met his wife Colleen while he was stationed at Lowry AFB, and they were married in January 1965. They moved permanently to Denver in 1966, where they were surrounded by friends and family. Walt was known as a “Jack of All Trades”, doing everything from building furniture, finishing basements, making stained glass projects, and tons of various house and car projects. He was always ready to help anyone who needed help with any kind of task. One of his favorite pastimes was picking the guitar or the banjo, and singing old country songs, whether it be at family gatherings, or at home in the living room.

Walt passed away in the comfort of his own home on Friday April 6. He was preceded in death by his parents Don and Thelma Hitchcock, his step-son William Ketchem, and 2 granddaughters, Paula and Julie Ketchem. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Colleen, daughter Janice Oetken (Jay), grandsons William Ketchem (Jeraine) and Marc Ketchem (Nicole), grand-daughters Amanda Baccarella (Anthony) and Katy Frazier, great-grandsons Cameron Ketchem and Dominic Baccarella, and great-granddaughter Julia Ketchem, brothers Sidney Hitchcock, Donald Hitchcock, and Gary Hitchcock (Jean), and numerous nieces and nephews.

He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. A Celebration of Life Service with Reception immediately following will be held at Olinger Highland Mortuary on Saturday April 21st at 1:30, 10201 North Grant Street, Thornton Colorado.

Official military service at Fort Logan National Cemetery will follow later this summer.

Fond memories of Walter and expressions of sympathy may be shared below for the Hitchcock family.



  • Celebration of Life Saturday, April 21, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, April 21, 2018


  • Final Resting Place

Walter Earl Hitchcock

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom Plumhoff

September 9, 2018

Walt is the best IBM manager I ever had. Walt is more than a manager more like a shepherd. I was just a kid starting with IBM with a young family. Walt’s guidance and help with everything from my career to painting a car, turned me into a man. I will always hold him in my highest regard. Bless him.

Ed Painz

September 9, 2018

I just found out about Walt's passing from the IBM Quarter Century Club newsletter.
I worked with Walt for many years in Denver & Boulder with IBM. He was one the best managers I ever had in IBM. He was very strict, but you always knew where you stood with him. I had great respect for him. In fact he is the one who nominated me for the prestigious IBM MEANS SERVICE ALL-STAR award, which I received in 1987.
I am sorry for your loss, but may your fond memories of him keep him in your hearts forever.
Ed Painz, retired IBMer, Westminster, CO

Cindy McElroy

April 14, 2018

I met Walt and Colleen just a couple years ago. Very quickly I learned what a nice person Walt was. He had a good sense of humor and helpful nature. Walt gave me a sample of his artistic ability while showing me the doll house he made for his girls and I got to listen to an audio tape of his country singing. He told me of the fun and pleasure he had in singing for his family and friends. Walt was even helpful in advice of things to do with my computer and had a great deal of patience. I always felt a welcome visitor to their home. One thing stands out in my memory of Walt was his love of his wife Colleen and his family. Rest in peace Walt and breath easy.

Ralph and Renae Besler

April 12, 2018

We met Walt in 1956 in the Air Force and were trailer-park neighbors, besides his working with Ralph in the Bombing and Navigation squadron. Many hours were spent playing the guitars and piano. We were based with Walt when Ralph and Walt were relocated to Grand Forks AFB, ND. Then in 1965 he went to Lowry AFB, CO, and met Colleen, who is the best thing that ever happened to Walt. He was one of the most honorable, and witty men we have ever known. When Renae was in a car accident at Idaho Springs, she called Walt to pick up her daughter at the Denver Airport and take her to the hospital in North Denver. He did this when he was scheduled to leave to join his family at a lake and was running late. He's now resting with our Lord.