Martha Ellen Trout Bitzegaio, 91, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana. Born on Nov. 12, 1925, in Cory, Indiana, she was the daughter of Clarence William Trout and Winifred Gilliatt Trout.
A graduate and valedictorian of Staunton High School, Martha attended Indiana State University, where she earned a teaching degree in home economics. While at ISU she met her future husband, William "Bill" Bitzegaio of Hymera, Indiana, and they married in July of 1947. As ISU alumni, Martha and Bill were avid fans of ISU sports and academics. She became a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority while at ISU and enjoyed the lifelong friendships that developed from that affiliation.
Martha taught school for a number of years, concluding that portion of her career at Schulte High School. She and Bill were both real estate brokers and owned a realty company for several years in Terre Haute, specializing in Florida properties as well as local real estate. She had a lengthy career at General Housewares of Terre Haute, where she served as "Ginny Houser," consumer problem-solver and advocate for the company.
She loved to travel and visited Cuba at the age of 90, the site of her honeymoon with Bill in 1947. She and her husband visited Europe together and met family members from the Bitzegaios of Germany. Their business and professional travels took them to Chicago, Florida and many other spots in the U.S.
Martha was active in numerous groups, such as Sweet Adelines, MOAA, TOBIES and the Sycamore Country Club. She was a devoted fan ("groupie") of the Four Freshmen, traveling many miles, including a jazz cruise, to participate in their shows. She has a front-row ticket to their upcoming show at Hatfield Hall.
Martha is survived by her three children, Beth Bitzegaio (Michael Stickney), Chicago; Barry (Barb) Bitzegaio, New Albany; and John (Bev) Bitzegaio, Staunton; grandchildren, Eric (Caitlin) Bitzegaio, Jersey City; Anne Bitzegaio, New Albany; and Ryan (Kristen) Bitzegaio and their children, Ethan and Will, Myrtle Beach. "Gigi" enjoyed her role as great-grandma to Ethan and Will, who loved her wacky gifts and sense of humor. Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, as they prepared to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in July of 1998. She was also preceded in death by her parents; grandson, Kyle Bitzegaio; and sister, June (Harry) Mormans.
Memorial services are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at Thomas Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at:
Published on October 4, 2017