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Ione "Dickie" Hanek Bitters.

Collected and contributed by:  Bill Fonferek

.April 23 to May 1, 2013.
.Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Ione "Dickie" Bitters, 85, Oconto Falls, got her wish by dying peacefully in the comfort of her home on Saturday evening, April 20, 2013. The oldest of six children was born December 28, 1927 in the Town of Spruce to John and Viroca (George) Hanek. She grew up in Spruce where she attended Spruce Elementary, 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 Ione to conserve.

On October 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. Dickie took great pride in caring for her large family, making sure they were always well fed by cooking large meals which included fresh chocolate chip cookies and butterscotch pie. Whoever said "cleanliness was next to godliness" must have known Dickie, because neatness and cleanliness mattered greatly to her and she never hesitated to convey those thoughts to her entire family. As a person who always cared for others, she could be found volunteering at the local nursing home, senior center or helping with the annual Christmas dinners. Dickie will fondly be remembered as an upbeat person who displayed her happiness by always humming.

Survivors are her five children, Tom (Kay) Bitters, Lena; Priscilla (Tom) Bober, St. Louis, MO; Chris (Bonnie) Bitters, Leon (Patti) Bitters, all of Lena; Carrie (Ken) Greetan, Green Bay; nine grandchildren, Debbie Arndt and Brian (Amanda) Arndt, Jennifer (Steve) Chartier and Stephanie (Bert) Feucht, Adam, Mark (Arynn Rabas) and Broc (Lacey Berger) Bitters, Andrea (Sterling Schermerhorn) Jurgilanis and Christina Hope Greetan; six great grandchildren; five step-grandchildren and 8 step-great grandchildren; three sisters, Beryl (Jerry) Meyer, Lena; Marlene (Arvid) Seefeldt, Green Bay; Lenore (Jerry) Wyent, Kelly Lake; one brother, John (Mary Ann) Hanek, Idaho Falls, ID; three sisters-in-law, Shirley Hanek and Lulaine Henderson, both of Oconto Falls; Leatrice Townsend, Sturgeon Bay; numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Pokie on January 5, 2001, one brother, Ron "Peanuts" Hanek, one grandson, Wade Thomas Bitters and 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 4-8 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013, parish prayer service 7pm Wednesday. Visitation will continue after 9am Thursday, April 25, 2013 at St. Anne Parish-Lena site until the time of service. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11am Thursday at the church with the Rev. Fr. Celestine Byekwaso officiating. Burial will follow in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, Lena.

The Bitters family would like to thank the entire staff of Unity Hospice for the great care and consideration shown Dickie during their time together.