Oliver Charles Bittleston, 90, was born Oct. 18, 1929 to Cyrus Bittleston and Lottie Wolske Bittleston in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He passed away Jan. 29, 2020.
Oliver was raised on a stump farm homestead outside of Coeur d’Alene. Oliver attended school at the Meadowbrook School, then Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR, working his way through college. Oliver graduated with a degree in Christian Theology.
While at Warner Pacific College, Oliver met and fell in love with Blanche Seekins.
After completing college, Oliver and Blanche married on June 12, 1953. In 1954, Oliver and Blanche began their work in the ministry. Oliver served as an ordained minister for 60 years, serving in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Oliver served as a bi-vocational pastor. He and Blanche supplemented the ministry with business vocations in order to support their family.
Oliver and Blanche pastored in Big Sandy, Montana from 1953-1956. They then returned to Coeur d’Alene, where they ran a boy’s home, farmed the family farm, and logged until 1962.
In 1962 they moved to Orofino, Idaho to pastor the First Church of God. During the years in Orofino, Oliver worked for the State Forestry Service. Then he started Clearwater Homes and Service, working on RVs in 1963.
In 1964, they branched out into selling and servicing mobile homes. In 1978 Oliver left the pastorate and went into business full time.
Oliver and Blanche raised five children together: Cyrus Bittleston (Diana Ferris Poulton) of Orofino, Creta Reilly-Saxton (Joe Saxton) of Uniontown, Corlene Becker (Tim Becker) of Genesee, Christy Skinner (Larry Skinner) of Orofino, and Cynthia White (Ernie McPeak) of Clarkston.
After suffering with multiple heart ailments, Oliver and Blanche sold the business and moved to Clarkston, Washington in 1982 to pastor the Clarkston First Church of God. Oliver suffered a severe heart attack as this transition was occurring, requiring bypass surgery. During his recovery, the Clarkston Church graciously granted him a six month leave of absence before stepping into the full-time pastorate.
In 1994, Oliver retired from pastoring and built a retirement home on Angel Ridge Road, above Peck, Idaho. Oliver and Blanche loved their little piece of paradise on Angel Ridge, and especially enjoyed all of the wildlife.
In 2000, Blanche was diagnosed with cancer, and after 12 years of battling the disease, she went home to her Lord on July 16, 2011.
After recovering from brain surgery, Oliver regained strength and enough vitality to realize God was not calling him home quite yet. In renewed health, he decided that he did not want to spend these years alone. So, he picked up the phone and called Betty (Elizabeth) Brooks Anderson-our family’s life-long friend, and Blanche’s best friend-and asked Betty to move from Missouri and come to Idaho as his wife. After five years of acting as newlyweds, Betty passed in 2017.
He is survived by his children and stepchildren: Cy, Creta, Corlene, Christy, Cynthia, John Reichelt, Roger Anderson, Carol Stickens, and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The months since Betty’s passing have been lonely and have seen Oliver in and out of hospitals a number of times. He has fought a long, hard, battle but has remained open to being God’s instrument for as long as God has needed him here, on this earth.
Oliver, you are deeply loved and missed by all who knew you.
On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 a viewing is set for 9-11 a.m. at Merchant Funeral Home 100 7th St Clarkston, WA, Celebration of life service will follow at 2 p.m. at First Church of God 910 Sycamore St Clarkston, WA.