Ed Bittner remembered for his service to Greencastle
Past associates of Edwin C. “Ed” Bittner remembered fondly the former borough manager’s dedication to Greencastle and his penchant for doing things right.
Bittner died Feb. 9, five days shy of his 90th birthday.
He was borough secretary, now called manager, from 1962 until 1985. He had served as member and president of borough council, zoning and tax officer, and utilities manager. The Walter Avenue bridge, which was constructed during his term, was named in his honor in 1990.
Kenneth Myers, now Huntingdon borough manager, trained under Bittner and took his place upon retirement. “Ed was a joy to work with. He was an excellent teacher and manager. I was always amazed by his ability to point to the location of a water or sewer main and tell you when it was installed and what material it was composed of.”
Bittner’s secretary/bookkeeper Carolle Patrick was part of the team his entire tenure. “He was one of the nicest people anyone could ever work for,” she said. “He was a very concerned person about this town, out checking things all the time.”
She recounted the times he would don overalls and visit job sites, working in ditches alongside the crew. She appreciated his approachable nature and his honesty.
Years ago Mayor Robert Eberly encountered Bittner through his business as a developer. “The family can be proud of his service to the borough. It’s a hard job. He did what was right for the community.”
Ben Thomas Jr. worked with Bittner for six years while a police officer. “He was always so knowledgeable, helpful and pleasing to work with.”
Bittner utilized federal revenue sharing funds for street improvement projects, the addition to the present borough hall, remodeling of the police department, and took on many projects recommended in the Greencastle Comprehensive Plan of 1965, Thomas continued.
“He was a visionary toward the future. When he retired, I had the privilege to drive around the community with Ed as he showed me so many of the things he had stored in memory. If you were to listen to Ed, his thoughts were worth pursuing.”
“Ed’s legacy is that of putting Greencastle first,” concluded Myers. “His heart was public works improvement projects and seeing that they were completed economically and effectively. Greencastle is a much better place due to all of Ed’s hard work over the years.”
Bittner is survived by two daughters, Nancy Kraker, Ohio, Tina and Daryl Reese, Greencastle; two sons, Dr. Edwin Bittner Jr., Wyoming, Joel and Jody Bittner, Greencastle; one brother, Frank Bittner, Waynesboro; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Iona Mae in 1994; brother, Clyde Bittner Jr.; and sister, Janet Bittner. Services were held Saturday at the Harold M. Zimmerman and Son Funeral Home with burial in the Cedar Hill Cemetery.