William “Bill” M. Wittig


BYRON – William “Bill” M. Wittig 94, (June 29, 1925 – July 23, 2019). Pastor Bill’s favorite Bible verse was I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Pastor Wittig was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin and grew up outside Carthage, Ill. A major impact on Bill’s life was his father and his values, since his father was also a Lutheran minister.

While attending college he carved tombstones in Carthage, Illinois. Bill graduated from Carthage in 1945 with a B.A. degree. He then attended Wartburg seminary and graduated in 1949 with a MDiv and was ordained in June of that year.

Bill was married to Isabelle F. Nelson, August of 1949, and began serving his first congregations, Trinity Lutheran in Chenoa and Trinity Lutheran in Fairbury, Illinois. During the following years he would serve the American Lutheran Church in Rantoul, Illinois; St. John’s Lutheran in Peoria (Bartonville); Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Rockford, IL; St. Matthew in Lima, Ohio; St. James Lutheran in Payne and St. John Lutheran Paulding (Briceton), Ohio.

After retiring from being full time pastor of a church, he did pulpit supply in California. This allowed Bill and Isabelle the opportunity to spend more time with the grandchildren and also to travel more extensively. Bill and Isabelle were excited about meeting persons of different races, cultures and religions. They travelled to Israel, particularly Bethlehem twice, Germany, to see the Oberammergau Passion Play, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

On behalf of the division of World Mission and Inter-church cooperation of the American Lutheran Church, Bill journeyed to Australia, Papua New Guinea, China (including the Great Wall of China and Beijing), Taiwan and Japan. Bill and Isabelle’s last trip out of the country was to India.

Bill and Isabelle received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Carthage College in 2010. Recently, Bill received a certificate in plaque form from Bishop Clements citing his 70 years of ordained ministry.

Bill’s hobbies were quite diverse and included camping, photography, woodworking, playing the piano and organ, clown ministry and puppet ministry with his wife and traveling, especially to see his children and grandchildren.

Bill greatly appreciated the assistance and support received from Ogle County Physical Therapy, Swedish American Hospital, the Arbors at Wesley Willows, Serenity Hospice and Home, and church family.

Bill is survived by his two daughters: Emma Nelson, Orange City, Fla., Linda Wittig, Byron; two sons: William (Maria) West Chester, Pa., Erland (Naomi) El Segundo, Calif.; three grandchildren: Steve Wittig (JeriAnn) Collegeville, Pa., Anne Serrano (Josh) San Carlos, Calif., Katherine Wittig, Los Angeles, Calif.; and five step-great grandchildren: Harper, Logan, Camden, Sebastian, Isaac; and sister, Ruth Wootten, Phoenix, Ariz.

Bill’s parents, wife, brother, son and infant daughter predeceased him.

Bill peacefully took his last breath on July 23, 2019

The family rejoiced in God’s goodness, compassion and provision to William and his family at All Saints Lutheran Church in Byron on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Janet Wold officiating and Pastor Julane Nease assisting. Visitation was held Friday at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, in Bryon from 5-7 p.m. and also at the church Saturday one hour ahead of the service.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, memorials may be made to: All Saints Lutheran Church, Byron; Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon; or Good Samaritan Fund at Wesley Willows, Rockford

To leave an online condolence visit www.farrellhollandgale.com