HESSTON — Ralph Owen Bitikofer, 90, of Schowalter Villa, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
He was born at home near Canton, KS, on May 11, 1923, to the late Fred and Martha (Loucks) Bitikofer.
Ralph married Kathryn Verna Neufeld of Inman, KS, on Dec. 16, 1947, and they began farming near Canton, KS. They had two sons, Lyle and Lauren. They later moved to Hesston, KS, where Ralph worked for Excel Industries until he retired. During his retirement he operated Kofer's Sharpening Service. Ralph and Kathryn also volunteered at Rio Grande Bible Institute for 10 years. Ralph was a member of the Hesston MB Church.
Ralph is preceded in death by his wife Kathryn of 64 years; five brothers, Franklin, Chester Melvin, Paul, Henry and Clifford; and a sister, Mabel. He is survived by a sister, Stella; two brothers, Allen and Leroy; two sons, Lyle (Jan) and Lauren (Kathy); four grandchildren, Jeffrey, Elizabeth (Leif) Wickland, Robert and Steven; and a great-granddaughter, Eliana Wickland.
The family will greet friends and family at the Schowalter Villa chapel from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. with Pastor Brad Burkholder officiating. The burial will follow at the Spring Valley Mennonite Church near Canton, KS.
Memorials may be sent to Schowalter Villa or Rio Grande Bible Institute, in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, 107 S. Lancaster, Hesston, KS 67062.