Paul Hitch

1943-2008

Paul Hitch was born May, 25, 1943, in Liberal, Kan., to Annie Laurie Lala Moores and Henry Charles Ladd Hitch Jr. He attended school in Guymon until high school at which time he transferred to Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., for his final two years, graduating in 1961. Upon graduation, Paul attended Oklahoma State University where he completed his degree in animal science within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. After completing his undergraduate degree in 1965, he moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to complete a Masters in Business Administration at Stanford University.

Paul was united in marriage to Lynda Lou Surguy on July 22, 1967, in Bartlesville. After the wedding, the couple resided in Guymon, where Paul had already joined his father and grandparents at Hitch Enterprises, Inc., the family's agriculture business. During his lifetime in the business, Paul saw the business grow from cattle feeding into a credit corporation, cattle buying services, commodity services, and pork operations. He became president of the business in 1978 and assumed the additional title of Chairman of the Board in 1996, positions he held until his death. His dedication to the business was obvious as he worked every day until his last. Within the cattle industry, Paul was active at both state and national levels serving in various leadership capacities for Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Texas Cattle Feeders' Association, and National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), including most recently holding the position of President-Elect for NCBA. Paul was also active in the pork industry, and his efforts there were recently honored by the Oklahoma Pork Council with an induction into the Oklahoma Pork Council Hall of Fame. At the community level, Paul believed in giving back, as evidenced by his active participation in numerous organizations over the years including the Guymon Chamber of Commerce, the board of City National Bank and Trust, Inc., the board of the Texas County Family YMCA and PROAG. At the state level, Paul was a member of the Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors, the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Additionally, he served for six years on the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture.

Paul's church, Victory Memorial United Methodist Church of Guymon, was also important to him. He served on countless committees over the years and also acted as a local and state layperson representative for state and national Methodist conferences. Paul also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation.