Clement (Pinkie) Augustus Bitzan was born in Millerville Township on May 3, 1936 to Joseph and Barbara (Hockert) Bitzan. He grew up and lived most of his life on his parent’s farm in Millerville. Clement was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville. He attended parochial school in Millerville through 8th grade and graduated from Brandon High School 1954.
In May 1957, Pinkie received his “Certificate of Acceptability” to join the Armed Services. He began his service in the United States Army with Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He served most of his duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he learned all aspects of Army training and was assigned the position of Tank Commander in his unit.
After serving in the Army, Pinkie returned to MN and began a 10 year position as an Artificial Inseminator for the Carnation Company in Pierz. After that, he devoted his life to farming. Pinkie loved all animals! Not only did he work with dairy cattle, he also hatched baby ducks, geese and chickens. His chicken coop was always full of egg layers and every year there were plenty of chickens to butcher. Pinkie was an extraordinary gardener, and that garden was his pride and joy. Each row was perfectly straight, weedless and very fruitful. One year, he grew a head of cabbage that was so large, he won a purple Ribbon for it at the Douglas County Fair. His gift for gardening was indeed Purple Ribbon worthy.
Pinkie always had constant companions on the farm, his dogs! He had a big heart for all of his dogs and became very attached to each one. He kept a list of all of his furry friends (Sir Henry, Tiger, Pudge, Retriever, Snoopy, Buster, Little Eddie, Lucy, and Lucy #2). He took great care of each one and never played favorites. They were his BEST friends!!!
One of Pinkie's favorite pastimes was hunting. He went on hunting trips with friends to many different places from Ontario to Wyoming. Pinkie also did his fair share of hunting right here in Minnesota. Whether he was shooting out the kitchen window or down at “the 80”, he rarely missed a deer.
Another special pastime was fishing. He was an avid winter fisherman, taking his spearing house onto the ice and spearing northern after northern. He often brought his northerns to his sister-in-law Rose Alice who made him ice cream buckets of pickled fish. He loved them!
Pinkie was definitely a favorite uncle to many of his nieces and nephews. He was always smiling and had a contagious giggle. Spending time on the farm with Pinkie and his dogs was enjoyed by many of his family and friends over the years.
Clement died at Knute Nelson Care Center on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the age of 85. He missed his 86th birthday by 10 days. He is survived by his twin brother Cletus and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Arnold (and wife Cyrilla), his brother Nicholas, his sister Odelia (and husband Phil Roers) and sister-in-law Rose Alice Bitzan.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, please consider a donation to the Knute Nelson Care Center Activity Fund in honor of Pinkie. While at Knute, this group became another family to Pinkie. They made his days incredibly happy. He enjoyed many games of Bingo, crafts, baking, parties, singing, field trips, and the list goes on. This was an experience Pinkie treasured. With your donation to this Fund, we hope they can continue this care for many years to come. We thank the Activity Department and entire staff at Knute for the love and care they provided to our beloved Pinkie. They went above and beyond to care for Pinkie and for that we are forever grateful!
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home with Prayer Service at 6:00 PM. Visitation will continue from 10:00 – 11:00 AM on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville with the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Burial will be at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Cemetery.