Richard “Dick” Wayne Bittle

Jun 21st, 1939 - Sep 14th, 2018


Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home

Sun, Sep. 16th, 2018 2 - 6 pm

Richard “Dick” Wayne Bittle

Richard “Dick” Wayne Bittle of Marion, Illinois passed away peacefully on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. in Saint Louis, MO with his loving family.  Richard was born June 21st, 1939 the son of Howard and Pauline (Frick) Bittle in Union County, Illinois.

Richard will be greatly missed by his family and friends.  His survivors include, his wife, Pamela Kay Yates Bittle, daughter Lisa Michele Cavaness and husband Jon of Marion, son Richard Jason and wife Robyn of Saint Louis, Missouri; grandchildren Nicholas Scott Cavaness of San Francisco, California, Zachary Michael Cavaness of Marion, Benjamin Theodore Bittle and Brooks Emmett Bittle of Saint Louis; his brother Dean and sister in law Sharon, their children Mark (Sharon), Todd (Beth) and Amy Brombaugh (Matt); brother Ronald and sister in law Peggy and their child Brad (Laurie); brother Bob; brother Randy and sister in law Lynn and their children Nathan (April), Max (Katie) and Wesley; nephew Eric and his many great nieces and nephews, along with several aunts, uncles and cousins.  Richard was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Pauline, his brother Gary, his grandparents Walter and Cora (Lingle) Bittle and Daniel and Doris (Ferrell) Frick.

Richard attended Anna public schools graduating from Anna Jonesboro High School in 1958 and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Anna.  After high school, Richard attended Southern Illinois University – Carbondale majoring in Communication with the goal of eventually working in Radio/TV.  While attending college, Richard spun records as a DJ for WRAJ where he would dedicate records to his sweetheart and future wife Pamela Kay to whom he married in 1963.  While the dream of working in Radio/TV never materialized he would fondly recall his time spent as a radio DJ.  Richard enlisted in the United States Army Reserves in 1962 and attended basic training in Ft. Smith, AR and advanced infantry training at Ft. Dix, NJ.  Richard was honorably discharged in 1963 returning back to Southern Illinois by way of hitchhiking from New Jersey.

Always a people person, Richard switched gears and found his calling in the hospitality industry.  Richard began his hospitality career operating the Dairy Queen in Marion and then working for ARA Slater Food Service as a Manager Trainee where he assisted in establishing the food service for the then newly built SIU Arena.  Shortly thereafter Richard opened the Sirloin Room Steak Restaurant in Carbondale.  It was here that Richard got his first taste of entrepreneurship hoping to create the Sirloin Room concept into a chain of steak restaurants.  Richard was then provided an opportunity to work for the Holiday Inn in Carbondale.  After attending Holiday Inn Innkeeper’s School in Memphis, Richard became the Innkeeper of the Benton Holiday Inn and eventually moved to Marion opening the full service Holiday Inn. Richard and Kay would settle in Marion and raise their family.  It was at the Holiday Inn in Marion where Richard’s talent of serving and entertaining people would blossom.  Always one to do things his way, Richard then moved on to his true calling and embarked upon a long journey of entrepreneurship operating a coal mine with his brothers, developing real estate and eventually realizing his dream of building a hotel by opening the Shoney’s Inn Marion where we was able to work alongside his children Lisa and Jason and other team members, serving as a mentor to some whom have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the hospitality industry.

In 2008 Richard was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to continue his service to people by joining the Marion Medical Mission assisting with the building of water wells in Embangweni Malawi.  Richard was an avid genealogist having assumed the role of family genealogist and spent countless hours researching family lines and DNA information.  Richard’s hobbies included golf, politics, bird watching and was a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Richard will be remembered by his family as a loving father, grandfather and uncle and a caring, thoughtful friend and mentor who never forgot a name.

A visitation service will be held on Sunday, September 16th from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Mitchell- Hughes Funeral Home in Marion.  A celebration of life for family will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made in his honor to the Marion Medical Mission.  Envelopes will be available and accepted at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home of Marion.


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16 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Jody

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Dear Kay and family, we are so sorry for your loss. We will keep all of you in thoughts and prayers.
    Your Joyner Therapy friends.

  • Guest: Judi Hite

    From: Harlingen , Texas

    Date: September 15, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed working for him.

  • Guest: Johnnie Earls

    From: Carterville, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Kay, I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Richard was a great guy and will be missed by many people throughout So. Il. and the Midwest. I remember him and that old minivan. Please accept my and Cindy’s condolences. We will be in Bloomington attending our oldest grandson’s game.

  • Guest: Connie Teske Heinle

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Kay, my sympathy to you and your family. Richard was a kind person, always pleasant, and devoted to his family. You all will miss him greatly and so will everyone who knew him.

  • Guest: Patrick J Ryll

    From: New York, New York

    Date: September 16, 2018

    Mr. Bittle was the best. So kind and generous. I have to say I didn’t know his background in radio but it doesn’t surprise me, nor does his interest in history and genelogy. I remember him taking us all through Southern Illinois ghost towns before a Salukis game once…to this day, I still remember how thrilling it was. I also remember him telling me that Hamburg, Illinois was named after Hamburg, Germany. Why I remember this I have no idea. But it’s always the greatest people who conjure up such random and ephemeral recollections such as that.

  • Guest: David and Kay Atwood

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 16, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. You will be in our thoughts and prayers

  • Guest: Dana Chambers Quinn

    From: Whitehouse Station , New Jersey

    Date: September 16, 2018

    Sending my deepest condolences to the Bittle family.

  • Guest: Kay James Philliis

    From: Anna, Illinois

    Date: September 16, 2018

    So sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. I have so enjoyed communicating with him on social media in regard to family genealogy and politics. I never had privilege of meeting him in person but his personality and knowledge showed through all those communications we had. So thankful I was privileged to become acquainted with him. It was evident he loved his family and God, as well as a very proud grandfather. Godspeed Richard, you will be missed by many.

  • Guest: Sandy and Earl Long

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 16, 2018

    So sorry for your loss Kay. Thoughts are with you and your sweet family. I know he will be missed by all of you and so many people.

  • Guest: Bob and Carole Cruse

    From: Marion , Illinois

    Date: September 16, 2018

    Kay, our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    God bless you
    Bob and Carole Cruse

  • Guest: Tommy Baker

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 17, 2018

    Dear kay & family so sorry for your loss he was a great guy

  • Guest: Cynthia J Barlow Mullis

    From: Mitchell, Indiana

    Date: September 17, 2018

    Pam, Lisa and Jason,
    Very sad to hear of Richard’s passing. I have some very happy memories of your wedding and one time when we got to come and stay at one of the Holiday Inns. And then when you attended my wedding 40 years ago.
    You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sending you love and hugs,

  • Guest: Paula Day

    From: DU QUOIN, Illinois

    Date: September 17, 2018

    Kay, so sorry for your loss. I have been missing you at water aerobics and later found out that your husband was not doing very well. Sorry I could not get to the visitation, but please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hope to see you again soon at water aerobics, Kathleen’s class at 3:00.

  • Guest: Ron Walls

    From: marion, Illinois

    Date: September 17, 2018

    Met Richard many years ago in the then “Shoney’s Restaurant” in Marion. He always had a smile and firm handshake. Later we became ‘Westernaire’ neighbors.

    Last meeting with him was in the street outside of his home where he shared his Christian testimony. With a Richard Bittle smile he said, “I’m ready to meet the Lord which is so important.”

    Holding hands we had prayer, in the street, with cars passing by.

    Prayers for all the family of a tremendous person.


    Ron Walls, Apostolic Church Pastor

  • Guest: John, Jenna, Caroline, and David Fletcher

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 17, 2018

    We were sorry to hear about your loss, Bittle and Cavaness families. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers! May God give you strength!

  • Guest: Ken Jobe

    From: Virginia Beach, Virginia

    Date: September 27, 2018

    our condolences to the family from longtime friends/classmates of the Bittle family from Ken & Doris Jobe and Sue Jobe Peters. We were unable to attend due to time/distance factors involved. This was a good man with an impressive business record. I enjoyed our continuing facebook exchanges about the Cards and Cubs.