Janet Claire Bitton

Priest River

On May 19, 1942, Janet Claire Pitts was born to Carl Edward Pitts and Mary Opal Lake in Spokane, Wash. She passed away May 24 at age 79. She was raised by the West Branch in Priest River, Idaho with her siblings, Mary Ellen, Carl, Robert, Henry, Jackie and Melanie. She remained there the duration of her childhood.

She attended Priest River High School where she met her future husband and father of her children, David Thomas Bitton. They married Sept. 19, 1959, and started the long tradition for their family of marrying their high school sweetheart. Soon after they were blessed with their first child, Cynthia Lyne, who later passed due to complications at birth.

Janet and David were again blessed with their eldest child, JaLaire Ann (Bud Stephenson), a son, Kevin David (Lori Stewart), and two more daughters, Kara Ellen (Shanon Lovette) and Belynda Mary (Jeff Best).

Over the years Janet’s family expanded drastically with the many blessings of grandchildren (Joshua Thomas (Kendra), Amber Lyne (Tyrel), Nikelle Claire (Cameron), Karissa Michael (Jeremy), Marcus Brian (Mariah), Katelyne Emily (Sam), Kourtney Gabrielle (Nathan), Jade David, Abigail Jean, and Jacob Logan) and great-grandchildren (Kody Thomas, Kameron Joshua, Aleigha Journie Lyne, Broden Leroy, Taytum Rosslyne Anne, Stella Rachelle Claire, Creed Michael, Nola Everly, Stetson Bud Louis, and Oliver Alton Lavor).

Janet was not just a mother and grandmother to her kin; she was a mother and grandmother to many others in her neighborhood and the town of Priest River. She was a nurturer to all and will be well remembered for her love of children and sporting events. You could always find her sitting right behind the bench hollering at the top of her lungs for whomever she was watching at any Priest River game, and just as enthusiastically for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. She was a talented seamstress and enjoyed crafting wedding dresses, quilts, baby clothes, crocheting Afghans, embroidery, and many other things. She was the maker of the best popcorn balls for Halloween, the greatest cookie and candy plates for Christmas, and the largest Easter egg hunt outside of the mudhole. She was a legendary woman and was loved beyond measure.

She will be missed for her humor, her lectures, her wisdom, and her unending kindness. After long visits, you could always count on her wanting you to stay longer. You could always count on her being there for you and to be happy to see you. She will be missed for her infectious laugh, the feel of her hand as you leave, the winks she would throw in secret, the look she would give over her glasses, the scolding she would give during cooking day, and the love she would give without conditions.

She was the greatest cheerleader and the fiercest protector, and you could always trust her to be in your corner when you felt like the world was against you. She made sure her kids were always wearing coats, even in the middle of summer. Her smiling face was always there to greet you in the mornings. She was there for anyone, anytime in every way possible. She made an impact on every person she came across, and we hope that her memory continues to live through her loved ones.

Janet passed surrounded by her family, in her well-known home of 51 years in Priest River, Idaho where fond memories of her will live long after she is gone. She was preceded in death by four of her siblings, and her daughter, Cynthia. And although she was never fond of being complimented on her looks, her loving husband of 62 years maintains that she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen, even to her last days. Her memory will live on through her family and loved ones, the stories they tell, her favorite catchphrases, and the songs she would sing to every baby she held in her arms as she rocked them to sleep.

She truly was a legend, and she will be missed tremendously.

A celebration of life will be held at Kevin and Lori’s home on Saturday, June 5 from 2-5 p.m.

Sherman-Campbell Funeral & Cremation Services in Priest River is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at shermancampbell.com