Clifton “Clif” Bitker
He’s fishing in heaven after losing his long, courageous battle with Leukemia. Clif passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00AM, Friday, September 29, 2017, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Bemidji, MN. A reception will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites following the service. Visitation will be held from 5-7:00pm, Thursday, September 28, 2017, at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji, and also an hour before the service at the church.
Born to Clarence and Blanche (Olson) Bitker in Marshall, MN, he spent his formative years on the family farm near Lockhart. With lots of work to keep him busy, there was little time for his favorite pastime of fishing, but his mom was known to help him sneak in a little time dipping a pole into a nearby ditch.
Clif attended Ada Highschool, transferring to the University of Minnesota Crookston’s School of Agriculture for his Senior year. He went on to X-ray Technician training, which started a long career in Medical Imaging.
While living in Jacksonville, FL, Clif was drafted into the US Army. He proudly served his country, stationed in Germany for two years helping in the x-ray lab.
Returning to the farm, Clif was busy working the land as well as his job as an x-ray technician. He continued his hobbies of fishing and hunting as well as his new passion for flying his Cessna. During this time Clif became a proud father, welcoming two daughters, Dawn in 1969 and Holly in 1972.
In 1977 Clif married Sylvia Olson. They built a life together first in the Twin Cities, and settled in Bemidji, MN where both loved to be closer to family as well as the lakes and woods. The couple celebrated their 40th anniversary in February 2017. Syl was a devoted, loving wife to the end as well as the one who kept Clif well fed.
Clif was his best during hunting and fishing season. Knowing the land as well as he did near the family farm, he was always the leader of the group when it came to stand placement and deer drives. His directions were not always clear, but those who hunted with him knew they would see deer. Clif welcomed all to the farm for the hunting season and was always willing to show the newer generation how to find the deer. Clif and Syl also shared many wonderful memories at their place up at Lake of the Woods where walleye fishing was abundant. There was no doubt that if you went fishing with him you would come back with a full boat of walleye to be cooked up that night by Grandma. Just ask his grandchildren who were fortunate enough to make some trips with him.
Clif leaves behind his wife Sylvia, his daughters Dawn (Chris) Rofidal, and Holly (Scott) Lindsoe, and seven grandchildren, Sophie, Alexandra, Ava, Ella, Hannah, John, and Katherine. As well as his sisters, Bonnie Swanson of McAllen, TX and Eve Vanna Hedrick of San Juan, TX. Nephews Gene Hedrick, Jason Swanson, and niece Tammy Hedrick. In addition, Clif had a very special relationship with nephew Rob Swanson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Blanche Bitker, nephew Shane Swanson, and great nephew Tim Hedrick, and brother-in-law Dave Hedrick.
Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.