On the night of Wednesday, Dec. 1, Thomas A. “Tim” Bitting III abruptly departed this world for the heavenly realm. His death, at the Hershey Medical Center, came 17 years after the onset of an illness that would eventually rob him of the ability to walk and use his hands but never took away his interest in and compassion for others.
Born in Renovo on Aug. 11, 1954, he was the son of the late Thomas Albert Bitting Jr. and the late Geraldine M. Rolls Bitting.
Growing up in Renovo, he lived two years in Williamsport, where he attended 10th and 11th grades at Williamsport Area High School. He returned to Renovo for his senior year, graduating in 1972 from Bucktail Area High School.
Tim earned an associate degree at Williamsport Area Community College and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lock Haven University.
He worked as an assistant sewage plant operator for the Western Clinton County Municipal Authority before leaving Renovo to attend Millersville University, where he earned a teaching certification. During that time, he worked for the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority. He also did graduate work in biology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he worked summers with the state forestry department in Clinton County.
On Sept. 21, 1985, he wed Diane M. Peterson Bitting, with whom he shared 36 years of marriage. He was the proud father of a daughter, Katie Jane Bitting, of Raleigh, North Carolina.
A resident of Elizabethtown, Tim became known in his Mount Joy Township neighborhood as the “mayor” of Snyder Drive, now Ashwood Lane, because of his gregarious nature and willingness to help his neighbors.
He worked 22 years at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, primarily as a chemistry technician in Unit 1 but also in the utility department. He retired in 2006 because of his illness.
He was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Elizabethtown, where he once served on church council. He was a former member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Renovo. He was also a member of the Renovo Elks Lodge. In addition, Tim volunteered as a firefighter with the Citizens Hose Company in South Renovo and as an EMT with Renovo's F.A.S.T. ambulance company.
Tim had enjoyed hunting and fly fishing. He was a car enthusiast who could recall the exact years, makes and colors of the muscle cars that rumbled through Renovo when he was a young man. A coin collector, he enjoyed that hobby until his death, practically becoming an expert in Eisenhower and Morgan silver dollars.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by a brother, Gerald Schaar, Laurel, Delaware, and a sister, Ruth Bitting, Belton, Texas. He also leaves behind his in-laws, Ernest and Betty Ann Peterson of Renovo, and his sisters- and brothers-in-law, Barbara and James Fedele and Marsha and Keith Stellfox, along with several nieces and nephews, and his noisy little dog, Fluffy. He is predeceased by a brother, Carl Lee Schaar.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, Dec. 10, at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 125 E. High St., Elizabethtown. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. The service will be livestreamed at https://tinyurl.com/CELCEtown. Memorial contributions can be made to the church.
Arrangments have been entrusted to the Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 N. market St., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.FinkenbinderFamily.com.