AIKEN, SC- JOHN THOMAS LITES, SR., 76, of Aiken, SC, died Saturday, May 25, 2013 at his residence.
A native of McGee, Arkansas, Mr. Lites was a son of the late Duffy and Nonie Maxine Lites. Educated in the public schools in Alexandria, LA, he studied at the University of Alaska and the Air Force Extension Course Institute through which he completed Air Force Officer Candidate School. This lead to a career that took him around the world twice. In 1964, he was assigned to the 861st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Aiken Airport, by the US Air Force, where he spent eight years as an active duty Air Traffic Controller.
Discharged in 1962, Mr. Lites began working in the broadcasting and news reporting industry with the WLOW Radio, which was located above Aiken Drug, and the Aiken Standard and Review. He would later become City Editor of the Standard and Review. In 1968, he left the Standard and Review and became a newsman for WJBF-TV Channel Six Augusta where he anchored early morning news until 1970 and then the 11 PM newscast until 1976 when he left air work for an advertising position. During this time he was also a volunteer for the Aiken City Fire Department.
In April of 1978, he accepted a full-time position with the Department of Public Safety and worked two jobs- for the Public Safety Department and as a newscaster on radio stations WAKN and WNEZ in Aiken. He was later promoted to the Rank of Sergeant with Public Safety.
Mr. Lites was a graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and the SC Fire Academy. He also held the position of a Certified Fire Instructor and taught numerous fire fighting classes across the state and had written and narrated television programs on E.T.V, which were carried statewide.
Survivors include his wife, Margie Hendrix Lites; a daughter, Marilyn Lites Swindler (Eddie); a son John Thomas Lites, Jr. (Christine) and five grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Lites was preceded in death by a brother, Curtis Lites.
Funeral arrangements will be held privately.
Memorial donations, in lieu of floral arrangements, may be directed to the Aiken Habitat for Humanity, 1026 Park Ave. SE, Aiken, SC 29801.
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SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC