Daniel A. Bitar, 98 years of age and a lifetime Hoquiam, Washington resident, died on Friday, March 22, 2013, in San Diego, California. Daniel was born on September 4, 1914, in Hoquiam to Constantine and Latifee (Tahan) who emigrated to Hoquiam from Lebanon.
Dan attended Hoquiam schools, graduated from Hoquiam High School and then from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in 1936.
During World War II, Dan served with the United States Army in France, Germany and the Aleutian Islands, as a pharmacist and medic with the 20th Field Hospital. Among the engagements in which Dan participated were the Battle of the Bulge and Normandy. Dan was part of the medical team that treated the starving inmates of the Langenstein-Zwieberge Concentration Camp in Germany after it was liberated by the American Armed Forces.
Both before and after the War, Dan worked at his family’s business, the La Vogue Department Store in Hoquiam. Dan was a certified television repairman and sold televisions and appliances. He added a bicycle shop to his department in 1950. Dan enjoyed visiting with the store’s older customers, some of whom became his closest friends. Dan continued to work at La Vogue’s until it closed in 2009.
Dan enjoyed gardening, reading and traveling. He frequently traveled to Las Vegas with his brother, Ed and his nephews, Doug and Brad. More recently, Dan traveled to San Diego for extended visits with his niece, Pamela and her family. Dan was active throughout his life and remained in remarkably good physical condition into old age. Even in his later years, he could be seen walking around Hoquiam covering as much as ten miles or more on a Sunday afternoon. When Dan was in his eighties he walked the steep trail up Beacon Rock on the Columbia River Gorge.
Dan had an incredible passion for learning. He completed numerous correspondence courses on a variety of subjects including botany, gardening, history and theology. Dan enjoyed a good discussion and was conversant on many topics.
Although Dan never married, he was devoted to his family and the time he spent with his brothers, sister, nieces and nephews, was important to him, especially during the holiday seasons.
Daniel’s survivors include his nieces, Pamela Hicok of San Diego, California and Marilyn Inzerillo of Vancouver, Washington; his nephews, Douglas Bitar of Hoquiam, Bradley Bitar of Hoquiam, Gregory Bitar of Belfair, Washington, David Bitar of Walnut Creek, California, Roger Bitar of San Diego, California and Philip Bitar of Arlington, Washington; numerous grandnephews and grandnieces. Dan had a close relationship with his care givers, Mattaniah and Ericka Small of Hoquiam, who provided Dan with loving care in his final years.
Dan was preceded in death by his brothers, Emmanuel, William, Edward and Paul and by a sister, Wilhelmina Johnson.
Donations may be made to the Polson Museum, PO Box 432, Hoquiam, WA 98550 or to P.A.W.S., PO Box 451, Aberdeen, WA 98520.
A graveside service with military honors and vault interment was held in the Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquiam, Washington.
Direction was by the Coleman Mortuary, 422 – 5th Street in Hoquiam.
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.