Born in Keyser on May 4, 1919, he was the son of the late Clyde B. Hott and Florence H. Hott. He was also preceded in death by nephew William G. Nesbit, great nephew David K. Nesbit, great niece Courtney B. Dugas, granddaughter Tara Willey Warren and son-in-law Morris H. Willey.
Surviving is his wife of 37 years, Charlotte, whom he referred to as the “light of his life”; daughters, Lee Jeffrey and son-in-law Chris Straaten of Frederick, MD and Victoria M. Willey of Frostburg, MD; grandchildren Madison, Blair and Lindsay Willey; nephew David G. Nesbit and wife Marianne of Orlando, FL; nieces Becky Dugas and Carol Nesbit of Keyser; great nephews and nieces, Jeffrey Nesbit and wife Melissa of Brunswick, Melinda Dugas of Martinsburg, Ryan Dugas of VA, Amy Golay and husband Patrick, Tasha Romano and husband John, Natalie Bowles and husband David of Orlando, FL.
Most particularly he had a place in his heart for his great-grands, Bryon Nesbit, Isabelle and Grayson Nesbit, Anyssa Mills, Colin and Chase Russell and Ella and Cohen Bowles; and special friend Dr. Jeffery Byron Kesecker.
A lifelong resident of Mineral County, he was a graduate of Keyser High School. He continued his education at Davidson College in Davidson, NC and graduated as a member of the class of 1940. He then was called to serve in WWII and went to Germany where he was in the U.S. Army military police as part of Supreme Headquarters. Upon his return, he continued with his education and graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law. He was awarded the Order of the Coif.
After serving as Prosecuting Attorney for several terms, he went on to be elected in 1976 and again for a second term in 1984 as Circuit Judge of the 21st Circuit serving Mineral, Grant and Tucker counties. In retirement, he served as a Senior Status Judge and served throughout the state.
A lifelong member of the Keyser Presbyterian Church for all of his 95 years, he was a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, Youth director, Elder and Clerk of Session for many years. He served Shenandoah Presbytery on the Permanent Judiciary Committee for the Synod of the Mid Atlantic.
Don was a member of the Keyser Lions Club for over 50 years and served as president more than once. He was the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellow and the Leonard Jarrett Award. He was a member of the American Legion and VFW for over 50 years. He enjoyed dancing and was a member of El Fidel Dance Club. He was inducted into the Legion of Honor of the Ed Kelly Society in 1998 and one of the original board members that began Queen-Meadow Point Association.
As a dedicated founding member of Deep Creek Yacht Club, Deep Creek, MD, Don served as Commodore, board member, race commander as well as other leadership positions. He was a board member, chief Measurer and President of the National Flying Scot Association USA. Don was a passionate sailor and raced FS 29, one of the first built Flying Scots.
He received recognition for attending and sailing in first 50 regattas of the National Flying Scott Sailing Association. Because of his love of sailing, he and wife Charlotte joined with friends on charter trips to Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Later on, he shared his passion with his family and traveled to the islands with his children and grandchildren.
Friends will be received at the Keyser Presbyterian Church, 300 S. Mineral Street on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted at the Keyser Presbyterian Church on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Karen J. Long officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to services. Interment will follow in Meadow Point Cemetery, Keyser, where military honors will be accorded.
The family would like to thank the following individuals and organizations: Dr. Rabie Zalzal, Joy Fertig, Patty Rice, Baird Gardner, Sandy Matlick and Norma Braithwaite. A very special thank you to Joanna Ervin and Jennifer Rosedale for their compassionate caring of Don, allowing him to live out his remaining days at home, as well as their steadfast kindness and support of the family.