John Barrett Bittinger
John Barrett Bittinger
  • September 17, 1935 - December 27, 2017
  • Sun Lakes, Arizona

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John Barrett Bittinger (Jack), 82, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, passed away at Chandler Regional Hospital on Wednesday, December 27, 2017. He was born in Dayton, Pennsylvania, on September 17, 1935, to Clinton Bittinger and Clara Mae Barrett Bittinger. He grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, graduating from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1953 after which he served three years in the United States Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He then attended Kent State University.
Jack met the love of his life, Janet Elaine Kirk, in the fourth grade and told his mother that day that he had met the girl he was going to marry. They attended grade school and high school together where he was President of the class and she was Vice President. He was King of the Prom and she was Queen. They married February 23, 1957, at the United Presbyterian Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2017. God blessed them with three children-Dawn Manning of San Antonio, Texas; Debbie Lang of Tempe, Arizona, and Douglas Bittinger of Fairplay, Colorado; and four grandchildren.
When Jack joined the Soap Division of Colgate Palmolive Company, he began his career in Sales Management in the Food Business. In 1971 he became a Regional Manager for Abbott Laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1973 he became National Sales Manager and subsequently Vice President of Sales for National Oats Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Dallas, Texas. His responsibilities included extensive travel in all fifty states and all of Canada working with food brokers. He believed in the H.A.I.R. Theory: Honesty, Accountability, Integrity, and Responsibility.
After Jack's retirement he began a second career as a Staff Member of the IronOaks Fitness and Racquet Club in Sun Lakes where he worked for fifteen years.
Many sales and leadership awards were bestowed on Jack, but his greatest achievement was his friendliness, his special gift of remembering people's names, lifting their spirits, and making them feel special. His philosophy was if you make someone else happy, you will be happy too. He was a kind and loving father and husband who adored his family, all people, and life. His light was a beacon for all who knew him. He enjoyed sports-especially Ohio sports-Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Cleveland Cavaliers and The Ohio State Buckeyes football and basketball.
Jack was a member of the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ where he served on the Board of Trustees and the Diaconate.
He is survived by his wife, Janet, and their three children, Dawn, Debbie, and Douglas (Cindy). Jack was preceded in death by his parents and his only sibling, brother Robert Clinton Bittinger.
A memorial service will be held at the Sun Lakes Chapel, 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N., Sun Lakes, Arizona on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.