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James R. Wittibslager
January 27, 1942 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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JAMES ROBERT WITTIBSLAGER, 81, of Norwalk, passed away September 1, 2023, at Bellevue Care Center with his loving wife by his side.
Jim was born in Kenton, Ohio on January 27, 1942. He graduated from LaRue High School in 1960, earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, and later received a master’s degree from Northern Michigan University. He then taught for five years at Berlin Heights Junior High and started the high school wrestling program.
He and his wife Pat (Ritz) were married in Berlin Heights on May 29, 1968. In 1970, they moved to Dundee, Michigan where Jim was a high school science teacher and wrestling coach. Coach Witt is a member of the Dundee Hall of Fame, the Michigan High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He compiled an overall record of 333-36-3 in two stints as Dundee's coach (1970-77) (1990-98) and won four straight championships from 1995-98. He also coached two seasons at Jefferson in the mid-1980s and three in Ohio in the late 1960s. He was named the Monroe County Region Coach of the Year six times.
Jim and Pat retired in 1998 and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Florida where he could fish all winter. As "snowbirds" they spent their summers in Ludington, Michigan camping and on their boat (the "Patty Ann"). A great day, according to Jim, was being on Lake Michigan by 4:00 a.m. and returning to the dock around noon with a cooler full of salmon.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Pat; brother-in-law, John (Dee) Ritz; sisters-in-law, Peggy (Mark) Gebelle and Nancy Ritz; nephews and nieces: John (Cindy) Ritz, Angela (Mike) Ault, and Melissa (Shames) Cassidy; great-nephews and nieces: Micki, Ryan, Cody, Nicholas, Austin, Makaylee, Seairra, Emmalee, and Gwendalynn; great-great-nephews and nieces: Connor, Mason, Ryder, Noah, Emilia, and Alaina; as well as his biggest supporter in life, Aunt Marg (Smith).
Jim was predeceased by his parents, Howard (Slick) and Alma (Peggy) Wittibslager.
Jim will be greatly missed by his wrestling family, fishing buddies, and special classmates.
As per Jim's wishes, no services will take place.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Dundee Wrestling Club, 345 Adams St., Dundee, MI 48131 or Venmo account: @dundeewrestlingclub
Foster Funeral Home & Crematory, Huron, is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at www.fosterfh.com.