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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

Joe Littell ’42


Joseph Fletcher Littell died peacefully at his home in Fallbrook, California on August 14, 2018.

Joseph was born on September 19, 1924 in Hankow (now Wuhan) China. The son of Bishop Samuel Harrington Littell and Evelyn Tabor Littell, Joe was the seventh of eight children. The family moved to Hawaii in 1930, and Joe grew up in Hawaii and Delaware.

He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army in World War II (1943-45) and was captured and held prisoner in the German labor camp at Berga. Mr. Littell earned a Bronze Star, among other awards for distinguished service to his country.

After WWII he worked for several major U.S. publishing companies. In 1969 he co-founded the textbook publishing company, McDougal Littell, serving as its Executive Vice President and Editor-in-Chief. He retired and moved to California in 1988. His memoir, A Lifetime in Every Moment, was published in 1995 by Houghton Mifflin. He is also the author of several books of fables and humor.

He lived in Fallbrook for 25 years, where he was a member of St John’s Episcopal Church and the Fallbrook Rotary Club.

He is survived by his three daughters, Julia Harrington Littell, Nancy Turner Littell, and Laura Ellsworth Gottardi-Littell; grandchildren Nicholas Littell Paprocki, Julian Gottardi-Littell, Christopher Gottardi-Littell, and Liana Littell; and son-in-law Numa Gottardi-Littell.