It doesn’t feel real. On Jan. 8, 2017, our amazing, wonderful and always there for us mom passed away. Twenty-two days later, on Jan. 30, our extraordinary and larger than life dad lost his battle with cancer. They are together; however, they are both greatly missed here.

Jean Kathleen Bittel, known to many as Kathy, Mom or Nana, was born June 25, 1946. Kathy grew up in Meridian, Miss., and moved to California in 1977. She touched the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Always the life of the party, full of wit and wisdom, Kathy never missed an opportunity to enhance the lives of those around her.

Robert Joseph Bittel, also known as Bob, Dad, Pops and Grandpa, was born on Nov. 15, 1944, in Ohio and moved with his parents to Lancaster, Calif., in 1950 where he grew into the man we know today. Bob was a surveyor, an athlete, a rancher, an avid outdoorsman, an adventurer, and most of all, a mentor. Rarely did anyone leave his presence lesser than when they arrived.

Bob and Kathy married in July 1987. They shared a love for family and together nurtured their five children. We wouldn’t be the same without the influence of them together. Hand in hand, they traveled the world, supported one another's dreams, and were truly there for better or for worse.

In 1994, Bob and Kathy moved to Red Bluff where they would each tell you they spent some of the happiest times of their lives. Not knowing a thing about agriculture, they decided to purchase a 150-acre walnut orchard and give the farm life a try. They not only excelled in their venture, they truly loved it. So did all of us. They stayed in Red Bluff until summer 2016 when they moved to Tehachapi. It was bittersweet leaving the area that they loved.

We are left with the many memories they created with each of us along with their words of wisdom. Be kind, be respectful, do that which is right, keep the hate out of your hearts and party on!

You will forever be in our hearts.

Your children Glen, Rusty, Karen, Lisa and Rick.

A joint memorial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Oxnard Beach Park in Oxnard. In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask that a donation in their names be made to Heifer International or The American Cancer Society.

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