John Hitchcock - Ski writer

Passing Date


John Cleveland Hitchcock, 93, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, died in his sleep on March 8.

Hitchcock grew up in Windsor, Massachusetts, graduating from Dalton High School in 1943. The next day, at age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and saw combat as a scout with the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. Wounded in Germany, he was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star for gallantry, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He then served in occupied Austria, where he sharpened his skiing. He married Ann Virginia Milne in 1948, and graduated from Williams College in 1950, with a degree in English.

After travelling around the country for a couple of years, the couple settled in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Hitchcock worked as a reporter for the Portsmouth Herald, the Berkshire Eagle, the Williams College news office, and, then, for 29 years, The Springfield Republican, until his retirement in 1990 as chief of its Pittsfield Bureau. Upon his retirement, up through his mid-80s, he continued writing a weekly column, first for Springfield Republican, and then on outdoor life and recreation for The Advocate

A keen outdoorsmand, Hitchcock freelanced for Sports Illustrated, Ski, Skiing, Ski America and other publications. With Charles K. Fox he co-authored Making It: A Guide to Cross Country Skiing Snowshoeing and Winter Survival. 

Hitchcock taught alpine and cross-country skiing at Dutch Hill, Bousquet, Brodie Mountain, Jiminy Peak, and Petersburg Pass. He operated local cross-country ski centers and organized and administered ski racing training camps in Montana and Switzerland.

Besides his wife Ann, he is survived by three daughters, Jan, Sally and Amy, and their husbands, and three grandchildren.