Friday, March 7, 2014
By DOUG HARLOW Morning Sentinel
HARTLAND — William Witt had just finished cutting 6½ cords of wood Sunday when he told his wife he was going fishing.
He told Holly Witt he'd be back at "dark-thirty."
"I said, 'OK, have fun. I love you,' and that's the last time I saw him," she said Tuesday.
Maine Warden Service divers recovered the body of the missing fisherman on Tuesday afternoon in Great Moose Lake. Witt, 66, of Harmony, had not been seen since he went fishing Sunday night.
His body was found at about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday in 8 feet of water in the area where his boat was spotted Sunday going in circles on the lake, said warden service spokesman Doug Rafferty. The search had concentrated in an area of the lake about a mile west of the boat landing off Great Moose Drive in Hartland.
Witt was alone in the boat and was not wearing a life vest, Rafferty said.
His body will be taken to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Rafferty said Witt had health problems in the past, and that may have contributed to his falling into the lake.
Holly Witt said her husband was a U.S. Marine who was wounded at the Battle of Khe Sanh in Vietnam in 1968 and suffered from exposure to the wartime chemical Agent Orange. He was from North Attleboro, Mass., where he ran an auto body shop.
He moved to North Road in Harmony in 2001. The couple met on Match.com and were married in 2005.
"He was a very kind and wonderful person," she said. "He did not make friends easily, but once he did you were a lifelong friend. He was a man of a lot of love."
William Witt loved to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and had restored a 1965 Pontiac GTO, which was his pride and joy, his wife said. He was a member and officer of the Cambridge Masonic Lodge.
Witt said her husband had three grown children from a previous marriage, and she also has three grown children from a previous marriage. She said he received a good bill of health from doctors at VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus during a recent visit.
She said the support, phone calls and emails she has received from the Harmony community since Sunday have been tremendous.
"They've only known me a few years," said Witt, who moved to Harmony from Lewiston in 2005 when she married William. "It's just like I'm a member of the Harmony family."
Rafferty said 16 game wardens and five or six members of Maine Search and Rescue conducted the search Tuesday.
Wardens also sent an airplane over the lake Tuesday morning, but it was turned back because of poor visibility.
Great Moose Lake is off state Route 43, east of Athens. The boat landing is about three miles from the state road. The lake also has access from Harmony.
Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at: