Elizabeth Hittinger (Herman) died peacefully at Moravian Village, in Bethlehem, PA on July 14, 2021. Elizabeth (Betty) lived to the fullest every moment of her nearly 99 years, enjoying great health, happiness, deep friendships, and enduring love.
Born in Bethlehem on July 21, 1922, to Maude (Overfield) and William C. Herman, Betty was the eldest of three close knit sisters: the late Jeanne (Bilheimer) of Bethlehem, PA and Marilyn (Wiltsie) of Belleville, Ill.
Betty graduated from Liberty High School in 1940. Outgoing and vivacious with varied interests including a love for drama and theater, Betty was typically surrounded by many friends, but it was one introspective, handsome, scholar-athlete William (Bill) C. Hittinger who was particularly smitten with the effervescent Betty. After graduating together, they remained committed to one another as Bill completed his Engineering studies at Lehigh University. On July 9th, 1944, Betty and Bill were married in the Old Moravian Chapel.
After the war the happy couple embraced all the opportunity and optimism that mid-century America offered to their greatest generation. Initially settling in Bethlehem, they soon proudly welcomed their first daughter, Patricia, then sons, William and David. And later their family was complete with the birth of their youngest daughter, Nancy.
As Bill’s career blossomed the young family relocated several times, eventually settling in Summit, New Jersey. It was there that Betty made a large circle of life-long friends and built an active, engaged life. Committed to work in the Junior League, several book and investment clubs and enthusiastically volunteering with Head Start, Overlook Hospital and many more community service organizations, Betty made a difference in the lives of everyone she touched.
The couple traveled the world – a pleasure that lasted long into their retirement. From Japan to England to Brazil to Seattle and San Francisco, Betty and Bill cruised, walked, toured and engaged with diverse cultures and experiences across the globe.
At the same time, they got great pleasure visiting and indulging their many grandchildren and proudly boasting of their academic, artistic, athletic and professional achievements. There was rarely a dramatic performance, soccer, hockey, baseball game or rowing regatta, high school, college or post-graduate graduation, birthday celebration, wedding, or baby shower that they missed.
In their later years the call of home and family brought them back to Bethlehem. Making a new home in Moravian Village they came full circle in their lives. Bill remained influential and active in his beloved Lehigh University and Betty once again created a full, rich life for the couple. From Bach on Main to events at the Zoellner Center and within the Village, to frequenting all the new restaurants in the Lehigh Valley - they enjoyed all that their return to Bethlehem had to offer.
After Bill’s passing in 2013, Betty remained vibrant and active. Volunteering to deliver meals, giving hours to Moravian Village’s New 2 You shop, movies at the Steel Stacks, brunch and dinners with friends and family, book clubs, visits with far flung children and long phone chats with grandchildren, Betty embraced each and every day with enthusiasm and good humor. She was especially proud of her beautiful town home which was landscaped with care and impeccably decorated with the lovely antiques and artwork she collected throughout her life and her travels.
In addition to her children and her sister, Betty is survived by 11 grandchildren – Autumn, Heather, and Ralph III (Pat and the late Ralph J. Bunche Jr, London, England), Jonathan, Letitia and Chuck (Pat and Bill Hittinger, McMurray, PA), Neil and Thad (Karen and Dave Hittinger, Bethlehem, PA) and Will, Spencer and Jameson (Nancy and Rich Lehrer, Winchester, MA). Each will forever carry the many memories and “Mama-isms” of their dynamic grandmother close to their hearts. And they will pass along her laughter, her traditions and their own loving, personal stories to the newest generation of 15 great-grandchildren.
The family will be having a small private party this summer to celebrate a life well lived and very well loved. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem.
They request that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Betty’s life offer a donation in her memory to the Elizabeth H. and William C. Hittinger Scholarship Fund at Lehigh University, Office of Advancement, 27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA. 18015.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth (Herman) Hittinger, please visit our floral store.