THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Ione Dickie Bitters, 85, of Oconto Falls passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home on Saturday evening, April 20.
The oldest of six children, she was born Dec. 28, 1927 in the Town of Spruce to John and Viroca (George) Hanek. She grew up in Spruce where she attended Spruce Elementary School, later graduating from Oconto Falls High School with the Class of 1945.
Having been born during the Great Depression and the fact her father died just prior to her graduation from high school, left a life long impression on her to conserve. On Oct. 12, 1946 she married Arlyn Pokie Bitters in Oconto. The couple lived and farmed on the Bitters Homestead, a century recognized farm, until moving to Oconto Falls in 1995. She was a longtime member of St. Anne Parish-Lena site where she was once active in the Altar Society and served as the first female usher. She took great pride in caring for her large family. As a person who always cared for others, she volunteered at the local nursing home, senior center or helped with the annual Christmas dinners. She will be fondly remembered as an upbeat person who displayed her happiness by always humming.
Survivors include five children, Tom (Kay) Bitters, Chris (Bonnie) Bitters and Leon (Patti) Bitters, all of Lena, Priscilla (Tom) Bober of St. Louis, Mo. and Carrie (Ken) Greetan of Green Bay; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren and eight step-great grandchildren; three sisters, Beryl (Jerry) Meyer of Lena, Marlene (Arvid) Seefeldt of Green Bay and Lenore (Jerry) Wyent of Kelly Lake; a brother, John (Mary Ann) Hanek of Idaho Falls, Id.; three sisters-in-law, Shirley Hanek and Lulaine Henderson, both of Oconto Falls and Leatrice Townsend of Sturgeon Bay and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Pokie on Jan. 5, 2001; a brother, Ron Peanuts Hanek; a grandson, Wade Thomas Bitters; two sisters-in-law, Delores Poradek and Violet Fidler and three brothers-in-law, Harry Poradek, Jack Fidler and Bill Townsend.
Visitation will be held at Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 with a parish prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue after 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 25 at St. Anne Parish-Lena site until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Fr. Celestine Byekwaso will officiate and burial will follow in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, Lena.