Michael Brian Witter, of Mora, died peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at United Hospital in St. Paul, after a short battle with cancer with family at his side. He was 78 years old.
He was born to Robert and Etta (Gilpin) Witter, in Park Rapids, MN, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the youngest of seven children and the only sibling born in a hospital. His childhood was in Osage, attending the small primary school there, and helping his parents on their dairy and strawberry farm, the roadside stand being his responsibility. He often recalled the beauty of the Jersey dairy cows, and the joy of bottle feeding some of the calves. He had various jobs around Osage in his youth, and enjoyed free time with his friends, especially swimming in the Straight River. Evenings at home with his parents often included Etta playing piano, him or sisters singing, and all taking turns reading aloud. He, his parents and his grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Witter, shared a keen interest in listening to baseball games.
He went on to graduate from Park Rapids High School in 1961. An avid athlete, he was very proud of their winning running and hurdling relay teams.
He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Karen Ann Johnson, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bemidji State College in 1966. They had a family of three children.
Work and life took him and his family to Marshall, Elkton Michigan, back to Park Rapids and finally to Mora.
He taught high school history, coached basketball, was an unemployment counselor for the state of Minnesota and worked in construction, building roads and bridges. He battled lifelong depression, anxiety and alcoholism, and the resulting effect on family and friends.
He retired in Mora, spending time with many good friends, and corresponding with family members. He was a voracious reader, a conveyor of dry and satirical humor, followed all sports (especially college and high school) and kept up with current events. He was well-loved and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by parents, Robert Lincoln and Etta Rowena; brother, Maynard Witter; sisters, Evelyn Wilcox, Winnifred Poole and Shirley Hinkley/Schmitt; 3 year old Helen Jeanne; and many close friends.
He is survived by sister, Patricia Corporaal; former wife, Karen Revak; daughter, Lori Ann Witter; sons, Lance Lincoln (Jodene) and Robert Francis (Ruth); grandchildren; cousins; nieces and nephews; and many friends.
A private burial will be held with family at Riverside Cemetery, Osage at a later date. Many thanks to friends and family for sharing kind words and memories upon his passing.