Graveside services were held for Helen Smith Hewitt, 82, of Visalia in the Exeter District Cemetery. She died on Oct. 25.

She was born in Albion, Pa. on Feb. 12, 1921, one of six children of Ralph and Ruth Smith.

She married Forrest Hewitt of Albion in 1943. She became an accomplished pilot, being a charter member of the Shreveport chapter of the Ninety-Nines, the international organization for women pilots. She was a long time flight instructor and taught her four sons to fly.

She and her husband moved from Louisiana to Granite Bay, Calif. in 1997, then to Exeter in 2000 and to Visalia in 2001.

Survivors include her husband of nearly 60 years, Forrest Hewitt; her sons, Jeffrey Hewitt of Albuquerque, N.M., Clark Hewitt of Granite Bay, Chris Hewitt of Aurora, Colo. and David Hewitt of Exeter; her brothers, Winfield Smith of Pennsburg, Pa. and Wayne Smith of Erie, Pa.; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter.

The family wishes to thank all her friends for their prayers and support. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the American Stroke Association (, the American Heart Association, 1495 W. Shaw, Fresno, CA 93711 or charity of the donors choice. On-line condolences may be made to

Arrangements were under the direction of Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.

Start typing and press Enter to search