Helmut Bitto (72) of Dalhousie, died at the Georges Dumont Hospital, Moncton,N.B. Sept. 04, 2019.
Born in Pinsdorf, Austria, he came to Canada when he was about four years old, and he grew up in Montreal, where his sister Heidi and his brother Walter(died in 1958) were born.
He was predeceased by his father Josef, and his mother Teresia( nee Geiser).
He is survived by his wife, Michelle (Picard, Green) and her children, (especially Lorraine Green, who came to Dalhousie in 2000 at age 13) his sons, Steven Bitto and children and Mark Bitto (Teri Lin ) and children, daughter Lisa Bitto, and "adopted" daughter, Tawnya Roy.
Helmut loved fishing & hunting: his Dad would take him to lakes north of Montreal, and eventually bought a property in the Laurentians. As a teen, Helmut took his scouting freinds and they camped there on their own for a week. He loved Scouting and credits it with giving him many practical skills for life. He was proud to have won a Queen's Scout Award, the highest award in Scouts Canada.
He went on to get his degree in Forestry, and worked in the woods, eventually working for C.I.P. (which became Bowater). Working in Quebec, he also had to learn French: to read, write, and speak it. His Mother also made sure he could speak, read and write in German as well.
After he was retired in 1999, he decided to "camperize" his van and drive across Canada. He did this in 2000, visiting family and friends on his way west, intending to go all the way to Whitehorse.
In Edmonton, he visited an old friend from grade school, and in three weeks they were married, and he turned around to bring his wife and her youngest daughter to Dalhousie, just in time to start school in September!
He loved to joke with people, whether he knew them or not! He was also known as a "Mr. Fix-it" and when he fixed something, it stayed fixed! His last delight in the year or so before he died was to make and give away cardboard "visor extenders" for short drivers. He saw his wife driving with one hand because the visor did not extend low enough to shade her eyes. And yes, it works great!
His last day or so, he had his son, Steven, with him, wife, Michelle, two of Michelle's sisters whom he had known in school, Tawnya, and good friend Roger, and he was sitting on a patio at the hospital, smiling and laughing at the corny jokes and busy chatter.
His funeral will be held at St. John Bosco Church in Dalhousie Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 2 PM with visitation at Savoie funeral Parlour, L'Eglise St. in Eel River Crossing Wednesday, September 11, from 6-8 in the evening.
He will eventually be buried in Edmonton Alberta, where his children, grandchildren and stepchildren live.
Profound thanks for all the prayers for him, and for us. They sustained us mightily, remember to pray for his soul.
In lieu of flowers, please remember the Auberge Monsignor Cormier, where Michelle stayed from July to Sept., or a charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements are in the care of MacMillan's Funeral Home, Black Point.