Daris Bittner

Aug. 27, 1929-Feb. 18, 2018

Daris Daniel Bittner, 88,

of Carrington, ND, died

on Sunday, February 18,

2018, at Golden Acres

Nursing Home, Carring-

ton, ND.

Daris was the eldest

child of Alfred and Eliza-

beth Bittner, and was

born on August 27, 1929.

He attended school at the

Cathay Public School.

After school, Daris began

farming on his home

place, ultimately marrying

Mabel Gladys Gussiaas on

November 7, 1952, where

they farmed and ranched,

until moving to Carring-


Daris loved farming and

ranching. He and Mabel

worked tirelessly as a

team in their work . . . it

was their true passion.

Daris was particularly

passionate about his beef

cattle, his purebred quar-

ter horses, and even his

beloved chickens that he

continued to nurture for

several months, even after

moving to Carrington.

Each of his animals found

a special place in his

heart, bringing him a great

measure of joy.

Sunday afternoons

would often find Daris

and Mabel taking a drive

out to the pastures, with

Daris getting out walking

among the cattle that

would typically come run-

ning from the far corners

of the pasture to greet

him. It was during those

interactions that he could

assess which ones needed

to be medicated later for a

touch of foot rot, or a dif-

ferent malady that needed

to be addressed with a

horse and a rope, within

the next day or so.

Those were times of

studied reflection that he

most seemed to relish. It

was in those moments,

that he transcended place

and time . . . minutes

could easily become

hours. For years, he

would gear up for the an-

nual cattle run with fami-

ly and friends joining in

to herd the cattle back

home from the respective

pastures, to winter at the

home place.

Daris was in his ele-

ment when afforded the

opportunity to talk about,

or to study the lineage

and pedigrees of his

beloved cattle and horses.

It was not merely his own

cattle that he enjoyed. He

loved nothing more than

going to another ranch, to

get a tour from another

enthusiastic herdsman,

whose expertise he ad-

mired. The Bar 5 ranch in

Canada, was just one such

ranch he delighted in

visiting and cultivating re-


As busy as Daris was,

he always made time to

visit a neighbor, friend, or

total stranger. He was

never too busy to lend a

helping hand to one who

may find need of it. He

virtually never met a

stranger, always willing to

share a smile, a warm

greeting, or swap a story.

Whether with a neighbor,

or a new friend, whose

name he had simply not

yet learned, in Minot, Far-

go, or a Minneapolis air-

port, he engaged each

with his own brand of

characteristic warmth.

Daris was actively in-

volved in his community

through the years. He

served several terms as a

County Commissioner for

Wells County, always en-

joying the many county

fair acts he helped ar-

range, including Perform-

er, Leroy Van Dyke, a fel-

low rancher and perform-

er, who had become a per-

sonal friend of his, with

whom he maintained

close contact through the

years. He cherished the

lifelong friendships made

through those encounters.

In conjunction with the

fair, he also served one of

the least favorite jobs –

Racing Secretary, a job

that called for a measure

of toughness and di-

plomacy. It was in those

moments that he came to

know and appreciate so

many of his Native Ameri-

can friends, who were in-

volved in horse racing,

from Dunseith, and Bel-

court. He stayed in touch

with a number of them

over the years. He also

served as a 4-H Club

leader for many years. Ad-

ditionally, he served

several terms on the

Cathay Township board.

He was also a Brand In-

spector for a number of

years, for the state of ND.

Daris and Mabel always

retained a strong commit-

ment to their church, at-

tending faithfully. In ear-

lier years, they attended

Stavanger Lutheran

Church, located in rural

Cathay. After that, they at-

tended First Lutheran

Church in Fessenden.

Later, when they moved

to Carrington, they be-

came active members of

Trinity Lutheran Church.

Their children, while a

tad impatient at times, ul-

timately grew accustomed

to being among the last to

leave church most Sun-

days, given Daris and

Mabel’s tendency to love

visiting with any who

elected to stay after.

Daris is survived by:

his wife, Mabel, of Car-

rington, ND; one son,

Mark (Sherri) Bittner, and

one daughter, Tamra Kost

of Fessenden, ND; one

grandson, Dusty (Melissa)

Kost and their 3

daughters, Kadence,

McKenzie and Madison of

Cathay, ND; two sisters,

Verna (Fred) Freeman, of

Carrington, and Delores

(Ray) Scherr of Min-

newauken, ND; as well as

many nieces and


He was preceded in

death by: an infant

daughter, his father and

mother, Alfred and Eliza-

beth Bittner; brother Ver-

non; son-in-law Ross


A Celebration of Life

will be held Thursday,

March 1, 2018, from

2:00PM – 4:00PM for Fam-

ily and Close Friends in

Trinity Lutheran Church,


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