Frank Matthew Hitti

Frank Matthew Hitti was born April 1, 1920 in Durango, the son of Matthew and Anna (Shry) Hitti. He passed away on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 at his Dolores home at the age of 92.

A contract miner for 45 years, Frank was the master judge from 1974 to 1980 for the Hard Rockers Holiday Celebration in Silverton. Frank worked in the mines until the physical demands of mining were too much for his body. From that point he worked as a contract miner for various mines. He was a member of the V.F.W. and Elks. Frank enjoyed hunting, fishing, prospecting and mushroom hunting in his spare time.

Frank married Velma Eugene Smith, a Durango resident, on Feb. 5, 1946 in Seattle, Wash. Velma and Frank had four children, Franklin Irvin, called Punk, who was born Sept. 20, 1947, Cheryl Ann, called Sherry, who was born Feb. 7, 1951, Michael Matthew who was born Feb. 17, 1958 and Sheila Denise who was born Feb. 14, 1961. Velma passed away July 16, 1983.

April 1, 1985 Frank married Mary Ann Olson, whose former husband had been one of Frank’s mining partners, and who was Velma’s friend. They married in Las Vegas, Nev. The following winter Frank and Mary Ann bought a lot north of the golf course just outside Cortez where they set up a large modular home. There they established a lovely home and had 27 happy years together. Mary Ann passed away on April 3, 2012.

Surviving Frank are his children, Frank Hitti and wife Carole of Cortez, Sherry Pratt and husband Larry of Grand Junction, Colo., Mike Hitti of Grand Junction, and Sheila Minor and husband Chris of Collierville, Tenn.; five grandchildren, Matthew Hitti and Carrie Hitti Freeman, Dolan Pratte and Tya Pratte, and Joe Hitti,; and eight great-grandchildren.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents; and by his wives, Velma E. (Smith) Hitti and Mary Ann (Olsen) Hitti.

Memorial contributions may be made in Frank Hitti’s name to Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Box 740, Cortez, CO 81321. Frank will be honored on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Hard Rockers Holiday Celebration in Silverton.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.