The Rev. William Benjamin “Bill” Hitchens of Seaford passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 at the Manor House in Seaford, DE. He was born on Aug. 22, 1923 in Laurel, son of the late William and Julia Elizabeth (Hobbs) Hitchens.

Rev. Hitchens graduated from Georgetown High School, the University of Delaware, where he played right wing on the men’s soccer team, and the Westminster Theological Seminary. He served in the United States Army during WWII. He was an ordained Clergyman of the United Methodist Church and was very passionate about his calling to be a Methodist Minister and Hospital Chaplain. Rev. Hitchens served churches in Felton, Clayton, New Castle and Wilmington for over 29 years. He also served as a chaplain for many years at the Governor Bacon Center in Delaware City, the Medical Center of Delaware, and the Christiana Hospital.

Bill was an avid reader and loved browsing in bookstores and collecting books. He enjoyed writing poetry and was active in the poetry group at the Manor House in Seaford for several years. He also enjoyed bird watching and gardening and loved Rio Samba roses. 

In addition to his parents, Rev. Hitchens was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 58 years, Jean Henry Hitchens, and his brother John (Jack) H. Hitchens. He is survived by his daughters: Jeannette (Jennie) H. Ashby of Millsboro and Julia H. Orescan (David) of Landenberg, PA; his son, Christopher E. Hitchens (Susan Krouner) of Gaithersburg, Md.; his grandchildren: Nicholas Benjamin Krouner Hitchens (Fallon), Jordan Elizabeth Krouner Hitchens, Elissa Caroline Orescan, and Leah Jeannette Orescan; and his great-grandchildren: Theodore William Schultz Hitchens and Silas Arthur Schultz Hitchens. He was a loving and true patriarch to our family and will be deeply missed. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel, 202 Laws Street in Bridgeville. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Rev. Hitchens’ memory to the New Castle Public Library, 424 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720, the Delaware Botanic Gardens, P.O. Box 1390, Ocean View, DE 19970 or the Bright Focus Foundation, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871.

Please visit Rev. Hitchens’ Life Memorial Webpage and sign his online guest book at