It is with great sadness that the family of Jan DeWitt announces his passing on January 29, 2022.
Jan’s life adventures began in Mission Canyon, in Santa Barbara, CA, with his brother and sister, and included 46 years in the television and film industry, adventures on the high seas, and calmer ones at home telling stories and entertaining his many groups of friends.
His career in the industry began as a painter on sets, grew to unit production manager, and culminated as an executive producer on “Bones,” a Fox Television Production that ran over 12 seasons.
Spending long days at work or on location was standard for Jan, as he loved his work and the people he worked with. Somehow, though, he managed to do what he loved most: spend time at the ocean, entertaining friends at his beloved Mission Canyon houses, and traveling in his treasured Airstream. One of his greatest joys was to bring people together, cook for them, tell stories, and share his home with them. His group of trusted friends ranged from those he went to elementary school with, to work friends, and others from all walks of life.
There is nothing, however, that gave him more pleasure and made him more proud than the day his daughter, Anika was born. She was lucky enough to join him in his adventures, listening to stories, traveling, and having insights into a world that most people never dream of seeing.
Anika and he were devoted to each other. It could be said that, on some levels, they probably helped raise each other. He taught her how to be fiercely independent, private, and tolerant of other people’s trials and tribulations. She taught him how to dress, keep the house clean, and on occasion, was successful in getting him to keep the chickens out of the house.
Jan’s friend Mark Indig probably summed up Jan the best: “It’s still hard to imagine him as anything but robust, always in motion and tough as nails. He was a Renaissance Man in a Farmer John package. There was nothing he couldn’t do, and do better than most: break down and budget a script in 15 minutes, build a house, captain a boat, raise chickens, cook a pizza from scratch. You’d never know from his appearance or attitude that he had created a paradise on four acres in Mission Canyon in Santa Barbara, where everyone was welcome. Or that he often commuted there from working long production hours in L.A. to spend time with his daughter.”
As dedicated as he was as a father, he was even more so as a grandfather. He was there for each of the births of Anika & Sam’s children – staying many weeks to help them with their newborns. He loved to watch, first Holden and then Hayes, as they grew into cute little boys. Their cheerful faces and giggly voices made his days full. He wrote and told stories to them in the evening, which helped Anika get them ready for bed – even if it had to be virtual, over the last two years.
Jan’s impact on the world was far-reaching. Everyone who met him remembered him.
To simply say he will be greatly missed is an incredible understatement. Please visit the DeWitt Family’s memorial website at https://www.weremember.com/jan-dewitt/3g7j/memories and share a story.
Jan leaves behind a large group of special, loyal friends and a family devastated by his loss.
His daughter, Anika DeWitt Pepper (Sam) and grandchildren Holden and Hayes.
His brother, Jack DeWitt (Kathe) Nephew, Charlie DeWitt (Molly) and great-nephew Jackson.
His Twin Sister, Jane DeWitt Schippers (Rob),Niece Shannon MacMillan (Doug), Nephew Joel Casey (Danny) and great niece & nephew, Brianna and Nicholas.
Special friends – John & Christina Kousakis and their four children and their families.
His devoted helpers Juan and Carmen Guarneros and their family.
His friend of many years Charlene Huston and her family.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a favorite charity – or have a BBQ with friends in Jan’s honor.
At Jan’s request, his ashes will be spread at sea and a small celebration of his life will be hosted by his family at a later date once COVID restrictions have been lifted.