Gracia Blaettler Bittner

June 3, 1936 - April 28, 2020

Gracia Blaettler Bittner, born June 3, 1936 in Berkeley, California, succumbed to the effects of Lewy Body Dementia and the Covid-19 virus on the morning of April 28, 2020.  She was preceded in death by her first son, Jay, her daughter-in-law Rosemary Musa, her husband Edward M. Bittner and her parents, Rudolph Blaettler and Felicia Francioli Blaettler. She had no siblings. 

She gave birth to Five Boys: Jerome Forrest “Jay” Chambless (deceased 1960), Forrest Bittner Chambless, Theodore Rudolph Bittner, Thomas Edward Bittner, and Christopher Francis Bittner (Kara).  She has five grandchildren: Grace and Ben Chambless (Forrest); Garrett, Claire, and Collin Bittner (Christopher). She was a loving human Mom to dogs Sofy, Casanova, Terra, and Gigi, whom she often said listened better than her sons.

She grew up in Piedmont, California, a city enclaved within Oakland, and went to Piedmont High School in Piedmont, California. She received a BA in Humanities from Stanford University in 1958 and a Masters of Education from Northern Illinois University in 1999.

She lived in Batavia, Illinois from 1965 to her death; lived in Chicago, Illinois from 1961 to 1965; Hanover, New Hampshire from 1958 to 1961.

Some of her favorite quotes were “Carpe Diem” and “If you think you can or if you think you can't-you are right!”.  She was a classically trained semi-professional piano and keyboard player, who most of all loved playing the piano for parties and family.  Many friends called her “Bubbles” for her happy spirit and active sense of humor.  She was a voracious reader, reading between two to five books a week for many years.  She loved history and culture and loved teaching the same to her children and grandchildren. She loved researching genealogy and made a trip to Italy and Switzerland to connect with her family roots.

Among the many things Gracia did, places worked for, or volunteered with are:

Coca Cola Girl of Chicago, 1962

Waubonsee Community College, 1995-2003, Spanish Instructor and Mentor/Counselor in the Access Center for Students with Disabilities

College of DuPage,1995-1997, English as a Second Language Instructor

Elgin Community College, 1991-1995, Spanish Instructor and Reading and Writing for the Disabled

Northern Illinois University International Programs  Study Tour to Russia and Estonia 1994

Branch President TriCities American Association of University Women 1992-1994, Active 1966 till present

Baptist Community Church Choir - Traveled to England as part of a choir exchange program

Served on the Vestry and in the choir of Calvary Episcopal Church where she attended since 1966

Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, Board Member

Fighting for Independence Together by Empowering People with Disabilities, Board Member and Secretary

Italian American Club of the Fox Valley, Board Member

League of Women Voters

Democratic Party of Kane County

Election Judge in Batavia, Illinois.

 In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia, Illinois.  There will be a small private internment of the ashes in the Calvary Episcopal Church columbarium in Batavia Illinois.  There will be a public celebration of Gracia’s life on June 6, 2020 in a place to be determined.

Guest Book

  • Daniel Hoefler We were saddened by the news of Gracia's passing. We always enjoyed her company at church and at the many social events hosted at your home while Ed was alive. We have missed her and she will be at peace now
  • Liz Thompson Condolences to the Bittner family. May she rest in the peace of the Lord.