Nov. 17, 1971 — May 5, 2018
It is with great sadness that Bradley Rick Bitterman a/k/a “Big Dawg”, age 46 of Neenah, Wis., passed away peacefully on May 5, 2018, with his family in his heart. Brad courageously battled esophageal cancer for over two years. There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t say he was the strongest, bravest, selfless fighter there ever was!
Brad was born in Harlan, on Nov. 17, 1971. Brad married Tara (Towns) Bitterman on Feb. 23, 2008. They recently renewed their vows as a celebration of their 10-year anniversary.
He went to school in Ogden, and graduated from Johnston High School in 1991. Brad highly excelled in sports in high school. He was an All-State Football player and All-State Wrestler. After graduating Brad moved to Algona, with his family, the Bittermans. Brad was employed at a local lumberyard, Hormel Foods and Kossuth County Sheriffs Dept. In March of 1998 Brad moved to Neenah, where he added a new family, as a very valued employee of Galloway Company, for 20 years. Brad also worked with another employment family for many years at Country USA and Rock USA. He said he enjoyed every minute of it, even teardown!
Brad and Tara were active Foster Parents for the last eight years. They devoted their lives to mentoring 25 foster children in their home. Being foster parents was a passion and a blessing for both of them. Brad had an enthusiasm to teach them life skills to carry with them through life. Brad wanted to mention how important his bonds were with Brexton, Levi, Justin, Jeremiah, and Josh (Little Dawg). He held them very close to his heart - they are his “sons”!
Brad’s greatest past time was giving to others, whether it was to family, friends, or strangers. Brad enjoyed fishing with Brian, camping, big campfires, watching football, and high school wrestling. Not to mention quilting, which he learned from his mom, Barb and the finishing touches of the long arm quilting from his dad, Rick. He completed five quilts for close family members and had a long, uncompleted list for more! Brad enjoyed long drives to enjoy Christmas lights, cooking and grilling. We all know he enjoyed posting pics of this process as well. Brad was famous for his chocolate chip cookies; he always said they had an expiration date and wouldn’t eat them if they were over three days old. He also enjoyed his scotch-a-roo competitions with his sister Angie.
His wife Tara, his parents Rick & Barb Bitterman, Algona, and Brian & Janet Cupp, Neenah, Wis gave Brad the true gift of a loving family. He is further survived by his sisters Angie (Wayne) Anderson, Altoona, April (Jason) Breig, Johnston, father and mother-in-law, David (Debbie) Towns, Oshkosh, Wis.; his sister, Amanda (Chris) Nelson. Port Orchard, Wash.; his brother and sister-in-law Bryan (Katie) Towns, Oshkosh, Wis.; and sister-in-law Sarah Towns, Oshkosh, Wis.
Brad was blessed with many treasured aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, foster children, and friends. He will certainly be missed by his little pups, Riley and Bailey. Also, his special friends, or as he called them “family: Greg and Anne Jochman and Rocco and Denise Vanden Wyngaard who were always giving of their time and companionship.
His grandmother, Agnes “Tuba” Gullickson, grandparents Jim and June Rollefson, grandparents Robert and Elaine Cupp, grandparents Bonnie and Marv Willemson, grandfather Roy Bitterman and grandfather Bill Wager, preceded Brad in death.
Brad will forever be remembered as a fighter, a strong, selfless and giving individual who made a lifetime of giving and making sacrifices so others could have a better life. He left his impression in life to whoever crossed his path…Brad, out.
Brad, Tara and his family would like to especially thank all of the “Fremont 4” nurses, hospice and staff at St. Elizabeth hospital and the staff at Cancer Treatment Center of American (CTCA), Zion, IL. They all walked Brad through a loving, dignity filled journey fighting his biggest battle.
A Memorial Service for Brad will be held on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church (1390 Breezewood Lane, Neenah) with Pastor Richard L. Frost officiating. Visitation will take place on Thursday, May 10 from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Neenah’s Westgor Funeral Home, and will continue on Friday directly at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the hour of service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Brad’s name.
Westgor Funeral Home
205 W. Doty Ave., Neenah 722-7151