Cover photo for John "Slim" W. Hite's Obituary
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John "Slim" W. Hite

August 10, 1941 — May 23, 2024

John "Slim" W. Hite

John Wayne Hite, affectionately known as Slim, was born in 1941, in Staunton, VA, and passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at his home in Staunton. He has moved on to officiate the ultimate ballgame in heaven, no doubt keeping the angels in line with his legendary calls. 
 
Slim was the youngest son of James and Margaret Hite. He was a multi-letter winning athlete at Robert E. Lee High School, excelling in football, basketball, and track. Following high school, Slim played a season of prep football at Augusta Military Academy (AMA) before serving a stint in the Navy. Upon returning to Staunton, he served as an assistant football coach at AMA.
 
Slim’s career at the Staunton-Augusta YMCA began with teaching swimming and lifesaving. He rose through the ranks to become the program director, physical director, and ultimately the executive director. He was a tireless advocate for youth, helping them develop their skills across various sports including basketball, swimming, baseball, softball, and football. 
 
Trading in his whistle for a briefcase, Slim became a realtor and taught real estate classes at Blue Ridge Community College before the world of sports pulled him back. As the Athletic Director at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, he revitalized the goalball program and supported the track team, working creatively to help blind students participate in running with the aid of guide students.
 
Slim's true love was refereeing. Starting in high school, he officiated local high school games for 62 years, covering basketball, softball, baseball, football, and volleyball. He retired from varsity football officiating in 2017, and his final basketball game was on February 28, 2024. Slim took great joy in teaching others the rules of the game and managing the occasional unruly coach -- always with a twinkle in his eye and a knack for giving them one last chance to shape up.
 
Slim married his high school sweetheart, Sandy and they recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Together they raised two wonderful daughters, Kristy and Kara, who inherited his passion for life and dedication for helping others. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Hunter Hite. In addition to his wife and daughters, he is survived by his brother, Homer Hite, and his sisters, Mary Ellen Earhart and Peggy Paxton.
 
 In light of his cancer diagnosis, a celebration of Slim’s life was held while he was still living, allowing him to relish the company and stories shared by friends and loved ones.

He requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to youth programs at the Staunton-Augusta YMCA through the New Hope Road Project. https://saymca.org/ways-to-givw/
 
Slim, was more than just a referee; he was a mentor, coach, teacher, and friend to countless athletes. His life was a series of games, each played with integrity, humor, and a touch of rebellious spirit. He made a difference, showing us how to live with passion and purpose.
 
Rest easy, Slim. The game will never be the same without you.

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