On November 22, 2018, the world lost a wonderful, compassionate man who always had a smile on his face and could make the most sullen of us laugh. Bob passed away at Cambridge Health & Rehabilitation Center in Fairfield, CT. Bob is survived by his wife, Alice Bitzberger, his daughter, Jan Bitzberger Davis, and his granddaughter, Rachel Arianna Weintraub. Bob was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 5, 1942. His mother, sister and brother are deceased.
Robert and Alice had a too short, wonderful marriage that reached 7 years this past October 22nd. The romantic journey was flourishing when Bob was diagnosed with brain cancer. He put up an incredible fight for 18 months under the care of Drs. Nicholas Blondin and Gary Zimmerman. Bob survived three surgeries and an infection and came out smiling from each event. Nurses would fight to have him as their patient. PT said he was the strongest patient in the rehab. And that smile…
So what kind of man was Bob Bitzberger? Well, he worked in 40 countries, many of which as International VP for Lockheed Martin. Bob sold the air traffic control system into Kazakhstan. The former Transportation Minister came to Alice and Bob’s wedding held at the 21 Club in NYC. He lived in Russia for two years also as Lockheed Martin. Bob’s job was to forge an international presence for Lockheed.
The pictorial of his life took him from Asia to Africa with many stops in Europe. His customers were his friends. He loved working with people where ever they resided. He was a master at understanding and respecting cultural needs. This global presence and command brought Bob and Alice together. He was so in command that he swaggered when he walked.
When Bob was in Parochial High School: they discovered he could play football. So during the Viet Nam War, he was tapped to play football for the 7th Army. He then became an Oakland Raider, number 31. His physical prowess transcended many sports but his true love later in life was golf. He was an adamant follower of Tiger Woods. Dr. Blondin would often call to make sure Bob knew Tiger was playing so that Bob could tune in. Bob was always already watching. After his service in the Army was complete; Bob went to work for IBM.
Bob spent a lifetime prior to meeting Alice filled with journeys abroad and horse shows with his equestrian daughter. Bob climbed mountains that no one had seen before. His mantra was anything is possible, just try. And try he did with great success.
Bob thrived on watching his daughter win ribbon after ribbon at horse shows. Jan followed in Bob’s footsteps working in leadership roles in the technology world and is a proponent of Lean Six Sigma.
When Bob married Alice; Bob inherited a precious joy, a granddaughter named Rachel. Many is the history conversation they held at the kitchen table. Bob watched Rachel develop into an accomplished teenager with many performances as a budding young actress with the voice of an angel. But that history thing was all for Grandpa.
Their relationship was special because Bob and Rachel filled a mutual need, grandfather and granddaughter. They chose each other.
In 2014, Bob and Alice moved to Connecticut to be near Rachel. Her career, although today she is only 15, was moving so quickly. The proximity helped. She and her parents, Sydney and Marc Weintraub, were a great support system during Bob’s illness.
For Alice, Bob was the voice of reason, the source of inspiration, and the courage to try whatever opportunity life offered. His wisdom shall be missed but it is his smile that will be most remembered. He instilled the courage to go on in everyone he met and will be dearly missed.
Where ever you are in heaven, rest in peace dear one knowing that you are loved today, tomorrow and always. Please watch over us. We love you. Until we meet again…
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