Memorial Service Set For Patricia Hewitt

Posted: November 29, 1992

A memorial service for Patricia Deere-Wiman Hewitt of Chadds Ford, a philanthropist, volunteer social worker and horse breeder, is planned for Saturday.

Mrs. Hewitt, 67, who was the great-great-granddaughter of agricultural implement manufacturer John Deere, died Nov. 21.

Her husband, William A. Hewitt, 78, is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Deere & Co., and a former ambassador to Jamaica during Ronald Reagan's administration.

Mrs. Hewitt died in Omaha, where she was attending a Simmental cattle show. She had entered several of the breed, which she raised at her ranch in East Moline, Ill., in the show.

Mrs. Hewitt grew up in Moline, Ill., where the Deere Co. was founded. She spent most of her early life in boarding schools in Chicago and in California. She later enrolled at Connecticut College for Women in New London, Conn., and George Washington University in Washington.

The Hewitts had a number of residences, among them: a ranch farm in East Moline; a home in Rock Island, Ill.; a 1,000-acre cattle and sheep ranch in Des Moines, N.M.; a home in San Francisco, and an estate in Chadds Ford called Rondeley.

Active in charitable organizations, she sought to fight AIDS, to help disabled children and to ease the plight of American Indians.

She served as a trustee on the board of many organizations, most of them in the Midwest, including Marycrest College in Iowa.

Locally, Mrs. Hewitt was on the board of the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford.

"She was such a complex, unique, fascinating, brilliant woman - all in one," said her daughter, Anna Wolfe. "She was always ready to help people with their problems. She never slowed down. That morning before she died, she told me how she was going to raise money for the AIDS Coalition."

When she wasn't volunteering her time and money for a cause, her passion was riding and breeding horses. During a visit to Japan in 1967, a friend suggested that she coach the Japanese Olympic pentathlon team for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. She accepted. In 1971, she helped direct the U.S. Olympic pentathlon competition.

Besides her daughter Anna Wolfe, she is survived by her husband and another daughter, Adrienne Hewitt Beer; a son, Alexander; six grandchildren, and a sister.

The memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Rondeley estate in Chadds Ford.

Another service is scheduled for Wednesday at Sacred Heart Church in Moline, Ill.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Patricia Wiman Hewitt Memorial Fund, 4709 44th St., Suite 5, Rock Island, Ill. 61201; attention: Ann Nordby. The fund will benefit the Lakota Indian Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center at Pine Ridge, S.D., and the Quad-Cities AIDS Coalition for Illinois and Iowa.

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