They helped to make us what we are today...
In Memoriam:
James Henderson Kitchen, known by "Dad" by his five children, "Jim" by his
countless friends, and "Mr. Kitch" by the thousands of students he taught in Boca Raton, FL
passed away on January 22, 2006, two months short of his 80th birthday. Dad was born on
March 16, 1926 in Ashland, KY and was raised in Huntington, WV. He graduated from the
University of Oklahoma in 1950 and received masters degrees from the University of
Colorado and Florida Atlantic University. Proudly serving his country, he was a Captain in the
United States Air Force. As a petroleum geologist, he worked for Gulf Oil in Utah, Colorado,
Wyoming and Oklahoma. After marrying mom (Carolyn Kitchen) in 1959, they moved
overseas where dad worked for Standard Oil in Turkey, Guatemala and Libya, where two of
his daughters were born. In 1963 dad settled the family in Boca Raton. He began teaching
earth science at Boca Raton Middle School and afterwards taught at Spanish River High
School. "Mr. Kitch" as his students called him, had a knack for making boring subjects (like
Science) fun and his students loved his great sense of humor. Dad had an insatiable
wanderlust. Over the course of his lifetime, he traveled to every state in the U.S. and to over
100 countries, making friends every where he went. Trekking through forests in distant lands,
diving for and collecting ancient artifacts, hunting for fossils in remote riverbeds, fishing in
Yellowstone and gazing at the Grand Tetons made him happy. He was at peace in the West
and accordingly he greatly respected and appreciated the native Indians. When watching a
college football game with him one had to be careful.... because he could spontaneously break
out in Oklahoma's fight song, "Boomer Sooner." He loved UNC basketball and found great
delight when Duke lost. He married Judy Welch on July 24, 1999. She was an angel to dad
and was such a great companion during his final seven years. He loved her very much. His
greatest accomplishment was being a great father. He and mom raised five children who will
miss his friendship and guidance. He is survived by wife, Judy and her family; daughter Jill
who lives in Leesburg, FL with her husband Mike; their three children, Brian, Erin and
Suzanne; daughter, Anne Guillette, who lives in Annapolis, MD; daughter, Kris, who lives in
Severna Park, MD with her husband Dave; and their two children, Matthew and Dylan; son,
Todd, who lives in Fayetteville, NC; and son, Jim, who lives in Chapel Hill, NC with his wife
Susan; and their two children Kenan and Karsen. A celebration of dad's life will take place at
the First Presbyterian Church in Boca Raton on Thursday, January 26th from 3-5pm. There
will be an informal gathering of friends and family to share life stories from 3-4:30pm and a
short service from 4:30-5pm. Stop by for five minutes or stay the whole time. If you knew
Dad we'd love to have you join us. In lieu of flowers, please donate money in his name to
Trickle-Up (
www.trickleup.org), a non-profit which helps low-income people around the
world start businesses.

This was the write-up for Mr. Kitchen taken from the Sun Sentinel this last week (1/25/06).
Judy, Jill and Mr. Kitchen
Mr. Kitchen
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