Earnest “Ernie” Gene Vittitoe, 85, Bloomington, passed away at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 29, 2013) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Saturday, february 2, 2013 at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, with a Masonic service at 1 p.m. today at the memorial home. His graveside service will follow at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington, with the Rev. Jay Regennitter officiating.
Ernie was born June 9, 1927, in Colfax, the son of Grover Martin and Georgia Ann Vittitoe. He married Thelma Lewis on Feb. 12, 1949, in Bloomington. She preceded him in death Oct. 3, 2011.
Surviving are sons, Roger (Debbie) Vittitoe, Cocoa Beach, Fla., and David Vittitoe, Bloomington; daughters, Linda (Dale) Arbour, Bloomington, and Theresa (Don) Sullivan, Oro Valley, Ariz.; grandchildren, James (Becky) Garrett and Jodi (John) Blumenshine, both of Bloomington; Steven (Faith) Vittitoe, Cheltenham, United Kingdom; and Taylor Vittitoe, Ames, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Chelsi Garrett, Kaitlynn Garrett, Alyssa Blumenshine, Molly Blumenshine, Aidan Blumenshine, Mya Blumenshine, Max Blumenshine, all in Bloomington; Joshua Vittitoe and Abigail Vittitoe, both of Cheltenham, UK; sister, Judy (Frank) Ala, Wheaton; and longtime best friends, Tom and Ginni Schori, Bloomington.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Earl Vittitoe and Theodore Vittitoe; and sisters, Bertha Mott and Mary Gertrude Lamkin.
Ernie worked for Pantagraph Printing (later Pantagraph Office Supply) from 1947 to 1990.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1947 and from 1950 to 1952. He was a member of Morningstar United Methodist Church, Normal.
For more than 50 years Ernie was active in many Masonic fraternities. He served as secretary of Arts and Crafts Lodge 1017, Bloomington Lodge 43 and Wade Barney Lodge 512 a combined 46 years. He advanced through worshipful master in Arts & Crafts Lodge. He was a member of the Valley of Bloomington Scottish Rite, advancing to most wise master in the Chapter of Rose Crois line as well as serving as treasurer for several years. In the Scottish Rite, he was honored with the Meritorious Service Award and served as MSA secretary for more than 10 years. He was a member of all three York Rite bodies, the Chapter, the Council and the Commandery, advancing to the head of all three bodies. He was a member of Mohammed Shrine. Ernie was a past patron and 50-year member of Bloomington Chapter 50 of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Memorials can be sent to the American Diabetes Association.