Cletus Mathias Bitzan was born in Millerville, Minnesota, on May 3, 1936, to Joseph and Barbara (Hockert) Bitzan.
Cletus grew up on his family’s farm in Millerville. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville. He attended parochial school in Millerville through sixth grade and finished his education at Brandon High School graduating in 1954. He continued his education at the University of St. Thomas. Cletus was a member of the National Guard stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, KY. Cletus could not get farming out of his blood and returned to his family farm raising hogs and grain farming with his brothers Nick and Clem.
Cletus was united in marriage to Rose Alice Revering on May 7, 1960, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Urbank, MN. They lived on the edge of the family farm in Millerville where they raised five children and enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Although farming was Cletus’ favorite past time, he also took pride in improving the city he lived in. Cletus served on the Millerville city council from 1970-1977. In 1977, he was elected Mayor of Millerville, and this began his innovative vision for city advancements. Cletus was instrumental in the improvements to the city park beginning in 1980 by adding a softball field, tennis court, and a playground complex. Other city projects throughout his 20 years of mayorship included the remodeling of the municipal liquor store, construction of a fire station-community room, purchase of a new fire truck and equipment, a new city septic system, and street renewal project (installation of a new storm sewer, curb, and gutter). Cletus was at the forefront of establishing a Fireman’s Relief Association for the Millerville Fire Fighters and served as a volunteer firefighter for 34 years. He was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for “Outstanding Operation, Maintenance and Management of the Wastewater Treatment System” of which he operated for 30 years. He ended his elected position as mayor in 2002. Cletus was a leader in advancing the city of Millerville into a fun, entertaining, safe, and environmentally friendly place to live.
Cletus also contributed his time and talent to the Catholic Church by serving on the parish council, being a lector, eucharistic minister, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Cletus loved watching his kids and grandkids at their family cabin on Lake Moses. He tried to take time away from farming to enjoy his favorite hobbies including fishing, hunting, and traveling (road-trips) with his family. We all heard many hunting stories over the years and he shot his last deer at the age of 82.
Cletus died at his home in Millerville, on June 9, 2023, at the age of 87.
Cletus is survived by his 5 children, Diane (Loren) Lukes of Eden Prairie, Dennis (Tara) Bitzan of Farwell, Donna (Joe) Plumbo of Forest Lake, Debbie (Rob) Jost of Alexandria, Darnell (Kurt) Brethorst of Albertville, 16 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two brothers-in-law Bill and Larry Revering. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rose Alice; his parents, sister Odilia Roers, and brothers Arnold, Nick, and twin brother Clem (Pinkie) Bitzan.
Visitation will be held on Monday, June 19, 2023, 5:00 - 7:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM. with a Knights of Columbus Rosary to follow. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 10:00 - 11:00 AM at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Burial will be at the church cemetery.