Michael Roe Sitzman served his Savior Jesus Christ until his last breath on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Even when he learned his time here was ending, he spent his remaining days ministering to his family and friends with his gifts of love and laughter. It burdened his heart that his death would cause others grief.
For the past four decades, Mike battled with his addiction to smoking. He had times of success where he could quit for months, but it was at last a dragon he could never slay. However, he believed that all things work together for good, and his own struggles developed in him a compassionate heart for others fighting addictions of all varieties. He was the man of second and third (or more) chances. Smoking damaged his lungs and caused his COPD, which ultimately took his life.
Mike was born on Aug. 25, 1960, to Frederick and Dorothy (Morgenstern) Sitzman in Nebraska City, Neb. He was the fifth of their six children. He spent his early elementary years in Hamburg before his family moved to Osceola in 1971. He graduated from Clarke Community High School in 1978. In 1979, he married Cindy Mason of Weldon. Mike and Cindy had three daughters: Sara, Terri, and Breana.
For the past 14 years, Mike worked at C.R.O.S.S. Ministries in Osceola. He spent countless hours driving to collect medical equipment, unloading trailers, and coordinating distributions of supplies over the years. He met scores of people who joined his effort to share the abundance of America with people in need all over the world. Even as his breathing worsened, Mike would load up his oxygen tanks, hop on a motorized scooter, and work outside however he could.
News of Mike’s passing has traveled around the globe. His girls have fielded calls from friends offering condolences from Haiti to Kenya. Mike’s first mission trip was in September of 2001 to Romania. He traveled as long as his health permitted, helping people in those three countries as well as Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Louisiana. Mike dreamed about heaven during his last hospital stay. He was most looking forward to meeting Jesus face-to-face and seeing his mom and other relatives again. His family who preceded him in death were his parents Fred and Dorothy Sitzman; brothers David Sitzman and Dan Sitzman; father-in-law Earl Mason; and brothers-in-law David Smith and Chris Mason.
He is survived by his daughters Sara (Nathan) Sleyster of Des Moines, Terri (Philip) Rater of Norwalk, and Breana Sitzman (Connor Spencer) of Indianola; grandchildren Ella and Benjamin Sleyster, and Parker, Hannah, and Carter Rater; brother Joe (Pam) Sitzman of Woodburn; sisters Sue Smith (Randy Kernen) of Conway and Nancy (Brian) Helland of Urbandale; sisters-in-law Donna Sitzman of Osceola, Jeanette Sitzman of Corning, and Kelly (Gerry) Milne of Murray; brother-in-law Brent Mason of Weldon; nephews Angelo Sitzman, Jim Sitzman (Madaline Waltz), Joey (Melissa) Sitzman, Tom Sitzman, Jason (Carleen) Smith, Brian Sitzman, Tony Sitzman, and Chris Helland; nieces Jill (Shane) Taylor, Stephanie Helland, Kyra (Jordan) Brownlee and Carlee (Josh) Hartl; ex-wife Cindy (Jeff) Norman of Creston; mother-in-law Mary (Robert) Johnson of Osceola; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and family friends Sasha Myers (Rick Boswell) and their son LeRoy Boswell of Davis City.
Family greeted his friends from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Kale Funeral Home in Osceola. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19 with the burial following at Maple Hill Cemetery in Osceola. All were welcome to join a luncheon after the services at the Osceola United Methodist Church.
Mike was instrumental in building and supporting Abba’s House, an orphanage for children who had lost their parents due to war in Kenya. He sponsored a child there through monthly donations. Memorial contributions can be directed to his family. They will be used to finish his child’s sponsorship with the remainder of the donations going to C.R.O.S.S. Ministries.