Margaret Catherine Bittner was born to Emmanuel and Emma (Klima Reich) Dormaier in Menno, SD, on January 2, 1923. Her dedicated work ethic, compassionate genuine relationships, and ability to push through the toughest of times were prevalent traits she gained from living through the Great Depression. She graduated from Menno High School in 1941, and her intellectual curiosity, which she continued to have throughout her whole life, drove her to graduate from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. After graduating from college, Margaret taught at a one-room schoolhouse in Clayton, SD.
While teaching, Margaret met her future husband, Harley. Early in their marriage, Margaret and Harley lived in Menno, SD, and Rushmore, MN, where Harley managed the local Farmers Union. In 1953, they decided to start farming south of Alexandria, SD. During their farming career, Margaret supported her husband’s multiple endeavors and innovative farming techniques. After their farming career, Margaret and Harley retired in 1979 and moved to Mitchell, SD. In retirement, they were still very active as charter members of the Grace Reformed Church and members of the SD Chapter of the Germans from Russian Heritage Society. After Harley’s death in 1988, Margaret actively volunteered at the Dakota Discovery Museum. Margaret continued to live on and meticulously maintain her acreage south of Mitchell until age 88, when she then moved into Mitchell.
Margaret truly adored her family, and she provided an excellent example, always with a great sense of humor, to her kids and grandchildren of how to live a spiritual life with strong character. For that, her family and friends are eternally grateful and will never forget the joy she brought into everyone’s life.
She is survived by three children: Norwin (Peg) Bittner and ReEtta (Ken) Horner of Sioux Falls, Gail (Rich) Meyer of Parkston; nine grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren; sister, Elsie Esterling of Gregory; sister-in-law, Rosie Dormaier of Sioux Falls; brothers-in-law: Loren (Jayne) Bittner of Sioux Falls and Rudy (Shirley) Bittner of Mitchell. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Harley, infant son, David and brothers: Harold, Elmer, Leon and Arnold.