Funeral services were held on Jan. 8, 2009 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee, with Rev. Armand Bertrand officiating. Burial was in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cherokee.. Online condolences may be left at www.greenwoodfuneral.com.
Rick was born on March 24, 1947 in Fort Dodge to Jim and Evelyn Bittner. He attended grade school at St. Columbkille in Varina. After the school closed, he attended Pocahontas Catholic High School and graduated in 1965. In high school, he participated in choir, basketball, baseball, and track. After his schooling, he joined the Army Reserves. Following boot camp, he was stationed under the command of his father in Sac City. Rick retired after 22 years with the Army Reserves.
In September of 1967 he began his career with Wilson Foods in Cherokee, Iowa, retiring in 2001 due to his health. Rick married Pat Eichler on March 29, 1969 in Pocahontas. They made their home in Cherokee for 34 years, and then moved to Meriden in 2003. They have three daughters, Jeanna, Jodi, and Lindi.
Rick enjoyed many things including cooking for his family and friends. He also loved to watch all sporting events and was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. In his younger years, he participated in recreational fast-pitch softball, bowling, basketball, and hunting wild game. More recently, he loved watching his grandchildren in athletic events, especially the Aurelia Bulldogs.
He was preceded in death by his father, Jim; a sister (in infancy), Mary Beth; grandparents, Israel and Iris Halder and Edward and Hattie Bittner.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years; daughters, Jeanna Bittner of Omaha, Neb.; Jodi Nixon of Aurelia; Lindi Bittner and her fiancÚ, Todd Stykel, of Cherokee; grandchildren, Zachary, Derek, Madison, and Emily; his mother, Evelyn Bittner of Pocahontas; a brother, Barry Bittner and his wife, Marlene, of Storm Lake; his cherished cats, Bonnie and Clyde; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.