Charla Dawn Sundquist Bittner was born on November 19, 1955 in Boulder, Colorado to Charles Homer
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Sundquist and LaVerne Roper Sundquist. The family moved to southern California in 1956, and
Charla’s sister Karen was born in January 1958. Charlie and LaVerne divorced when Charla was 5 years
old, but both parents remained (and remarried) in southern California until Charla graduated from El
Segundo High School as an Honor Student in 1973. Charla and her sister lived primarily with their
mother and step-father, George and LaVerne Hollapeter, but visited often and lived a few years with
their father and step-mother, Charlie and Marty Sundquist.
Charla attended church regularly as she grew up and accepted Jesus into her heart at an early age,
recommitting her life to the Lord in her late teens. A sincere and committed Christian, she was active in
church as a participant and volunteer. She was also a talented musician with a lovely voice and enjoyed
church music as well as roles in local productions of musicals and plays beginning in high school and
continuing into her 30's.
After acquiring credits at El Camino College, Charla completed her degree in Education at Abilene
Christian University in 1981. She moved back to California and acquired a teaching job in a private
school, followed by administrative work.
Charla moved to Arizona briefly, but was living in Idaho by 1985 where she cultivated a career in health
and human services. She continued to be active in her church, local theater, hot air ballooning, and
spending time with family and friends. Charla loved hobbies and excelled as a seamstress, quilter,
crafter, and cook, enjoying a wide variety of interests throughout her life.
In 1996, Charla’s father introduced her to a friend and hot air balloon pilot, Edwin James (E.j.) Bittner.
They fell in love and were happily married on January 18, 1997. In 1998, they moved to Freeland,
Washington on Whidbey Island, ultimately owning 8 acres in a beautiful forested area that Charla loved.
She shared her compassionate nature and desire to help others by working as a Case Manager for
Department of Social & Health Services from 1999 to 2014.
E.J. and Charla were thrilled to welcome their two wonderful children - son Isaiah James in October
2003, and daughter Elizabeth Dawn (Edie) in February 2007. Charla was delighted to be a mother, loved
her children deeply, and enjoyed doing things with her family, eventually becoming involved in her
children’s Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops as well as with the church and other activities. After she
retired with disability in 2014, she was able to spend more time with her family.
Charla was a compassionate woman with a beautiful and loving heart. She was a committed Christian
and showed remarkable faith, courage, and determination in the face of multiple health issues, battling
through each while doing her best to maintain a positive and hopeful outlook. Her caring heart for family
and friends created a warm circle of enduring love that supported Charla and all her family in her final
Charla Dawn Bittner passed into Heaven on May 25, 2019 with her family around her. Those of us left
behind grieve her absence, but we rest in the knowledge that her renewed health and joy are now
complete in Christ, and that we will see her beautiful, loving smile again one day.