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Richard Bitel, 59, had distinguished career in corrections


HUDSON–Richard Bitel, 59, of Ancramdale, died on Wednesday May 19, 2010 with his beloved wife, Sylvia, by his side.

He was born on July 24, 1950 in Meriden, Conn. the son of Frank Bitel of Ancramdale and the late Helene (Orzech) Bitel.

Mr. Bitel was a graduate of Roeliff Jansen High School in Hillsdale, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Empire State College in Albany.

He began his career as a corrections officer serving in the Attica, Coxsackie, Green Haven and Hudson correctional facilities from 1973 to 1987. He served as president of the union, Council 82 in 1985 and 1986. In 1987 Mr. Bitel left corrections to embark on a new career as a parole officer, working in Manhattan until 1990. He was then assigned to Central Office to work with the Certificate of Relief Department where he co – founded Victim Impact meetings. In 1991 he began working for the Board of Parole and later became special assistant to the Department of Corrections. In August of 2007 Mr. Bitel became commissioner representing the State of New York in the Interstate Compact, served as Chair of the Eastern Region States and member of the Executive Committee for the Interstate Compact. After a long and distinguished career, Mr. Bitel retired on April 28, 2010.

Mr. Bitel was an avid golfer and spent countless hours in the company of his friends at the Egremont Country Club. His strong sense of community was evident in the joy he found coaching Taconic Hills middle school basketball. He found tremendous satisfaction in teaching boys not only the techniques of the game, but the value of fair play and sportsmanship.

He was a longtime communicant of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Amenia,

Above all, Mr. Bitel was a devoted and loving son to his parents and as their primary caregiver, was completely committed to their well being. Mr. Bitel was additionally blessed in finding a deep and devoted love with his wife, Sylvia, with whom he spent the final and most fulfilling years of his life.

Survivors include his loving wife, Sylvia, of Ancramdale; his father, Frank Bitel of Ancramdale; and three stepchildren, Jenice, Roger and Nicole. He also leaves a sister, Carol Gaelens of Rochester.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10 a.m.from St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Gt. Barrington with the Rev. William Murphy officiating.

Friends are invited and may call on Sunday May 23, 2010 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 State Route 22, Copake.

Burial will be in New St. Bridget’s Cemetery, Copake Falls.

In honor of Mr. Bitel ‘s late mother, Helene, kindly consider memorial contributions to ALS Association, (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), 27001 Agoura Road, Suite 250, Calabasas, CA  91301.

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