Aroostook County is the largest American county by land area east of the Rocky Mountains, thus the largest in the state of Maine. It is safe to say that a huge percentage of County residents in the second half of the twentieth century knew and recognized the VOICE of Dewey DeWitt as he announced high school basketball games from Fort Kent to Houlton.
After spending his early days in New Brunswick, then in Lowell, MA and Detroit, MI during the heart of the Great Depression, the DeWitt family moved to Aroostook County in 1930 finally settling in Amity. In his early adult days Dewey traveled America, became a hotel bellhop supreme and, with his blend of voice and personality, succeeded everywhere. Upon his return to Maine, Dewey settled into Aroostook County and began his love affair with radio and the basketball-loving communities he served for the next three decades.
In 1951, Dewey became staff announcer at WABM in Houlton and from there the combination of "voice and personal magnetism" made the exciting broadcasts of high school basketball in Aroostook winters a "must listen." Dale Duff, Houlton native and the current Eastern Maine voice of Sports Talk Radio at 92.9 in Bangor, was an early "Dewey Fan." Dale's simple statements speak volumes, "Every region in the state has its historic broadcasters. In the County, Dewey DeWitt is that living legend in the broadcasting genre."
Through the 50s, Dewey's plate overfilled with opportunities and Dewey was everywhere. His wonderful voice and style entertained, informed, and excited the County populace. Television beckoned later in the decade and Dewey was the lead announcer for the 1960 State Class LL basketball championship at the Portland Expo -- the first state-wide telecast, a 65-64 thriller with Bangor prevailing over Lewiston.
In the 1960s, Dewey's world expanded as he moved to WAGM in Presque Isle and united with the University of Maine to broadcast football, basketball, and baseball -- many games with Hall of Famer George Hale. Through the next two decades Dewey, in his own words, "broadcast everything" from tennis to curling as the lead broadcaster for the Greater Bangor Open and did many television events for Maine Public Broadcasting. Along the way, Dewey had the special opportunity to interview two U.S. Presidents -- John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
Recognition came for Dewey in his being named Broadcaster of the Year by the Maine Association of Broadcasters in both 1972 and 1977. On one of his trips to the National Convention to receive his award, Dewey met and befriended Olympic hero Jesse Owens. In 2012, Dewey was elected to the Maine Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In the 1950s, the Boston Celtics traveled to the County and played exhibition games. Celtic legend Red Auerbach and Dewey became great friends and Dewey played golf several times with Hall of Famers Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman. Dewey also fondly remembers a fishing trip deep into the Maine wilderness with Ted Williams, as good an angler as he was the "greatest hitter in baseball history."
These days Dewey lives in his beloved Houlton, still doing radio interviews with WHOU, challenging his great friend Bob Anderson to a game of Rummy, and spending many an afternoon among his friends at the Houlton Elks Club. As spring beckons Dewey once again will head to Houlton Community Golf Club to attempt, and probably succeed, in shooting his "age" with good friends Bob Anderson, Dick and Gerry York, Paul Adams, and Rick Goodwin as he has done annually since 1978.
Dewey's family consists of daughter Sally Gentle, sons Gary, Robert, and Rand. However, the DeWitt family extends into those thousands who well remember the famous Dewey call of the Caribou last-second 1969 State Championship victory.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.