Stillwater News Press


January 22, 2014

Joan Wittwer

Joan Frances (Bauer) Wittwer, 73, of Stillwater, passed away Jan. 20 at her home in the loving care of her family. Viewing will take place at Strode Funeral Home from 6-8 p.m. Friday. Memorial services are 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater with the Rev. Mike Chaffin officiating. Private family burial services will be held at a later date. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Joan was born Nov. 11, 1940, in Lewis, N.Y., to George and Mary Bauer. She graduated from West Leyden Central School in 1959 and attended State University of New York at Cortland where she received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1963. Joan taught and coached in several upstate New York elementary and high school districts.

Meeting for the first time in middle school, Joan reconnected with Robert F. Wittwer when he invited her to a New Year’s Eve party in 1964. They were married June 29, 1968, in West Leyden, N.Y., and welcomed their daughter Robin. They moved to Syracuse, N.Y., where Roberta was born and Bob received a Ph.D in silviculture in 1973. That December, Bob and Joan moved to Lexington, Ky., where he held a faculty position at the University of Kentucky and where their son, Robert, was born. Joan volunteered for her children’s scouting groups, PTA, church and other local organizations.

In 1982, the family moved to Stillwater when Bob accepted a position at Oklahoma State University. Joan continued a legacy of service to her church and community. In 1984, Joan helped establish the Faith Class, a Sunday school class for the differently abled, at the First United Methodist Church and remained an integral part for nearly three decades. Joan served as a youth soccer coach, state and local PTA officer and as a founder of Stillwater Project Graduation. She was passionately involved in Special Olympics as a coach and volunteer coordinator. Joan was a steadfast advocate for the interests of differently abled individuals. For her service, she received the Donna Nigh Award for Volunteer Service and a citation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives for “unselfish and untiring contributions of time, skill and efforts to the community …”

In Stillwater, Joan worked as a substitute teacher, official for multiple youth and adult sports, habilitation specialist for differently abled adults and as an Adult Basic Education teacher. Joan was excited when parents whom she had officiated in their youth recognized her at their children’s games decades later.

Through the years, Joan found great joy as a wife, mother and grandmother. She shared her passions for sports, education, travel and history with her children and grandchildren. No matter what the obstacles, attending the grandchildren’s sporting events, school and church activities was a priority. She was proud of her Irish heritage and a highlight was a trip to Ireland with her oldest daughter. She and Bob traveled throughout the United States first with their children then to visit their grandchildren.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Douglas and Wayne Bauer and nephews Bret Hake and Justin Bauer.

Joan is survived by her husband, Robert F. Wittwer of Stillwater, Robin Swaim (Brandon) of Okeene, Roberta Sheltra (Patrick) of Twin Falls, Idaho, Robert J. Wittwer of Fayetteville, Ark., and five grandchildren, Daxton and Destry Swaim and Carson, Delaney and Wyatt Sheltra. She is survived by two sisters, Shirley Hake (Donald) of Elbridge, N.Y., and Gail LaQuay (Gerald) of West Leyden, N.Y. She also leaves brother- and sister-in-laws Fred and Peaches Wittwer, Jean Williams, Rebecca and John Marcy, and Karen Bauer, all of Boonville, N.Y., brother and 19 nieces and nephews and their families. In addition to her family, she will be greatly missed by friends, her Faith Class and students whose lives she touched beyond measure.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Joan B. Wittwer Memorial account, c/o RCB Bank, P.O. Box 1208, Stillwater, OK, 74076, to continue her legacy of giving Christmas gifts to members of the Faith Class and Stillwater Group Home residents or the Judith Karman Hospice.

Condolences may be sent and an obituary viewed by visiting

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Royce Lee Juneau

    Royce Lee Juneau age 78 of Cushing passed away Sunday, July 27, 2014. Wake will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the First Indian Baptist Church.

    July 29, 2014

  • James-Phillip-Longan-obit.jpg James Phillip Longan

    James Phillip Longan, 68, of Stillwater passed peacefully from this life on July 27, 2014, in Oklahoma City with his family by his side.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patricia (White) Noland

    Patricia (White) Noland, 79, of Stillwater, Okla., passed from this life on July 18, 2014.

    July 24, 2014

  • James Jim Mullins

    James Jim Mullins, 78, of Cushing, passed from this life Monday July 21, 2014.

    July 23, 2014

  • Sheperd-JW-obit.jpg John Watkins Sheperd Jr.

    John Watkins Sheperd Jr., 86, passed away Friday, July 18, at his home in Stillwater, Okla. His memorial service will be 2 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Strode Funeral Home Chapel.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fox-Ralph-obit.jpg Ralph Arnold “Bunny” Fox

    Ralph Arnold “Bunny” Fox, 99, of Stillwater, Okla., passed away peacefully on June 28, 2014.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • William-Savory-obit.jpg William Dean Savory

    William Dean Savory, Wellston resident, passed away on Friday, July 18, 2014, in Stillwater at the age of 60 years.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maxine Humphrey

    Maxine Humphrey, 89, passed away on Thursday, July 17, at her home in Owasso, Okla. Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 22, at Fairlawn Cemetery in Stillwater, Okla.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hesser-Gloria-obit.jpg Gloria Ann Hesser

    Gloria Ann Hesser, 74, passed away in Stillwater, Okla., on July 18, 2014.
    A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Sunnybrook Christian Church,

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lillie Maxine Dunford

    Lillie Maxine Dunford, a longtime Perry resident, died Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the Perry Green Valley Nursing Home, Perry at the age of 96.

    July 21, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
NDN Video
Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent
Must Read