Colin’s Story

The Restoring Hope Foundation is created in honor of Judge Colin Witt

Colin passed away in February of 2020 after a courageous 19-month battle with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. In his short 45 years, Colin made an impact in our community and a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was a leader, mentor, and friend to many and passionate advocate and supporter of youth services and programs across Des Moines.

Colin’s character, beliefs, and dedication to improving the state of child welfare within our community are what Restoring Hope is built on and working to continue.


Our commitment to justice, the character of our society, the rule of law, and fairness and equality are how we treat the poor, the lost, the broken, the accused and the incarcerated. Colin believed in the power of community and that when we come together, we’re able to be one another’s harvest—no one gets left behind.

His character

Colin had the ability to hold power and tenderness in the same breath; always seeking to see the other and leading with love, understanding, mercy, and justice.

His passions

Were the Iowa Hawkeyes, being a voracious reader, appreciating the arts, training for and participating in numerous marathons and Ironmans, and being in fellowship with others. But what Colin was most passionate about and proud of was his family. His wife of 23 years, Jennifer, and his son, Abram.

Words Colin lived by

Colin was wise, a good listener, and a person many went to for advice. He was a friend to anyone who crossed his path and he genuinely cared for all people. He made everyone feel special and that they were important. Words Colin said and lived by:

      • Do hard things.
      • Do what you say you will do.
      • Do good anyway, forgive always.
      • Progress over perfection.
      • You’re more than the worst thing you’ve ever done.
      • Know what you know, know what you don’t know, and don’t confuse the two.
      • Favorite Bible verse: Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

If you have other sayings or favorite phrases from Colin to add to the list, please share them with us.

While Colin is deeply missed – everyday – his legacy lives on through this foundation and his family, friends, and colleagues who he shepherded and taught throughout his life.