Fred G. Bitz

Big Sandy, MT

Fred G. Bitz, 89, of Big Sandy, passed away March 11, 2017 at Big Sandy Nursing Home due to natural causes. Funeral Services were held on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Fifth Avenue Christian Church with Ila McClenahan officiating. Burial followed at Big Sandy Cemetery at 4:30 pm.

Fred was born January 23, 1928 on the family farm near Big Sandy - No. 11 of 13 children born to Henry and Markareita Bitz. His mother died in 1931 when he was three. His father remarried Matilda Klundt and together they had six more children. He grew up on the farm and attended Lonesome Lake school, graduating from Big Sandy High School in 1947. After graduation, he went to work in Havre for the Great Northern Railroad where he worked for one year. He then enlisted the United States Army 1951. After completing Basic Training at Camp Cook, CA, he attended Heavy Equipment Operator's school at Ft. Belvoir, VA. Fred then joined the Aviation Engineers Corps stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. In June of 1952, Fred's unit deployed to Punsan, South Korea, where the Aviation Engineers were to build roads and runways on the air base. During the construction of the runway, Fred was burned in a gasoline fire and spent the next seven weeks recovering in Japan. In October of 1953, he was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Fred came back to Big Sandy and bought his father's farm in April of 1954, where he would live until the age of 84. He married Edna Miller on June 20,1954 at the Big Sandy Methodist Church. He and Edna made their home in Big Sandy on the farm that fall. The couple had three daughters, Nona, Nola and Amy. Fred farmed with his son-in-law, Rusty Danreuther, until he retired in 1993.

Fred was a member of the 5th Avenue Christian Church in Havre, the American Legion, V.F.W., Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, Shriners, and the Elks. He served on the Big Sandy School Board for nineteen and a half years, served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Bank of Montana, the Chouteau County A.S.C.S Board and Soil Conservation Board. He enjoyed hunting, traveling and tending his large garden. On of his greatest highlight in his life was when he rode in the Centennial Cattle Drive in 1989. Fred loved collecting antiques and rarely missed an auction sale in the area. Most importantly, Fred genuinely enjoyed people, and always found someone to talk to.

He is survived by his wife, Edna; daughters, Nona Danreuther, Nola (Dennis) Greeno and Amy (Ray) Sibra; two grandsons; four granddaughters; thirteen great grandchildren; his siblings Leo Bitz, Esther Kane, Irene Holden, Russell Bitz, and Sandra Kinsella; and numerous nephews and nieces.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Heinrich and Markareita Bitz; his stepmother, Matilda Bitz; his siblings Hank Bitz, Alvina Conquergood, Albert Bitz, Mollie Bitz (infant), Daniel Bitz, Jacob Bitz, Emanuel Bitz, Reinholt Bitz, Herbert Bitz, Martha Couch, Ruth Schwindt, Ora Reichelt, Virginia Wanner, Walter Klundt, Elmer Klundt, Ida Phillips; and son-in-law Rusty Danreuther.

Memorials in Fred's name may be made to the North Central Montana Shrine Club, P.O. Box 607 Havre, MT 59501 or the Big Sandy Medical Center, P.O. Box 530 Big Sandy, MT 59520. Holland and Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements. Please visit Fred's online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for his family at http://www.hollandbonine.com.

A00013B2017MR11

 
 
Rendered 06/12/2024 04:54