Robert F. Sittig, 91, retired professor of political science, of Lincoln, died Dec. 1, 2022.
Sittig taught at the University of Nebraska from 1962 to 2002. His specialties were political parties, elections and state government, particularly Nebraska’s unicameral legislature.
He was born in Three Oaks, Michigan, on Sept. 20, 1931, to Paul and Frances Sittig. He was one of eight siblings.
Sittig worked from the age of 9, selling magazines and delivering newspapers, and then in various stores, and even at a bowling alley in his village.
He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and worked in his brother’s bookkeeping service while completing, in 1948, a two-year program in business administration and accounting at South Bend College of Commerce.
When the Korean War started, as was his family tradition, he enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman First Class from 1951-1955. It was in the military that he realized his vocation was to become a teacher.
Sittig used the GI bill to major in social sciences at Western Michigan University, completing his bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.
Having married Bonnie Lou (Brush) Sittig in 1959 and with a budding family to support, he completed a master’s degree in one year and his doctorate (both focused on political science) in three years, both at Southern Illinois University.
Sittig was a dedicated husband, a supportive father of five children and an extremely proud grandfather who loved his family beyond limit. He was a devout Catholic who shared his beautiful life with his wife Bonnie for 63 years. When asked about his life, without hesitation, he always replied, “We have had a great life.”
During his career in higher education, Sittig enjoyed working with both graduate and undergraduate students. He respected his dedicated colleagues and the way in which they all supported one another to provide higher education for all. He was a highly intelligent and inquisitive person who promoted critical thinking in each person whose life he touched.
He was a member of St. Joseph and Sacred Heart Catholic Churches, American Legion, Open Forum Club, and United Nations Association. Sittig was an avid golfer and participated in many leagues.
Sittig is survived by his children, Beth M. Sittig of Three Oaks, Michigan, Christie S. Sittig of Anacortes, Washington, Ann L. Sittig (Marcus Roble) of Redding, California, Robert F. (Candy) Sittig Jr. of Leawood, Kansas, and Darcy S. (Rich) Majka of Oak Park, Illinois; and grandchildren, Josie Badillo Sittig, Anna, Libby Majka, Frankie Majka, Robert F. “Bobby” III and Isabella Sittig.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers and sisters, Paul, Raymond, Marilyn and Theresa; and his beloved wife.
Services are Jan. 14 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 1940 S. 77th St., in Lincoln. Rosary is at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, 3880 L St.