Area benefactor's estate assists UA Audiology


Charles “Chick” Bittner spent many of his 101 years highly observant of the world around him.  Growing up around a golf course near his boyhood home, and manicuring them and his own property for many years, he enjoyed few things more than time on the golf course. He loved taking in the sights and sounds of nature as he played the game he loved. 

It was that desire to enjoy golf, and other pursuits at the highest level, that led to Mr. Bittner’s affiliation with The University of Akron School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. There, he received support for his own hearing and saw the important work being done with children and adults, many with economic need. His friends say the experience had a moving impact on Bittner, who passed away in July.

The estate of Bittner established The Charles (Chick) and Marie C. Bittner Advanced Hearing Technology and Therapy Endowment Fund in November 2017.  The fund will support UA’s Audiology and Speech Center which provides a full range of clinical speech, language and hearing services for children and adults in the greater Akron-Canton area and Northeast Ohio. The fund will cover advanced hearing technology for recipients in financial need.

Charles (Chick) Bittner

Charles Bittner and a Ventrac tractor

Mr. Bittner lived on 4.5-acre farm near Orville, Ohio, where he cared for his own acreage himself, riding his Ventrac mower, winter or summer, whatever the weather. Scott Shookman, an area Ventrac operator happened to notice Mr. Bittner riding one day and was struck by the odd durability of both man and machine. Shookman stopped and struck up a conversation which grew into a fast friendship.

Their relationship led to factory tour of the Orville plant for Bittner and a near starring role in one of the company’s promotional YouTube videos. It was a relationship Bittner cherished.