Amy Bittle Rohrer
Amy Rohrer is shown with her son, Adam Rohrer, the week of her 42nd birthday in May 2012. She was recovering from surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. (Submitted photo / March 30, 2013)
“Always the first to see the good in others, Amy provided everyone the benefit of the doubt, concerning herself not with their imperfections or shortcomings, but rather focusing on their virtues,” oldest sibling David Bittle said at Amy’s celebration of life service March 25.
She recently had crossed paths with a woman and her child who were basically homeless. Amy got them something to eat, purchased some toys for the child and gave them her phone number in case they needed anything else.
“She was all about paying it forward,” said her mother, Juanita “Anita” Elliott of Hagerstown. “She felt so blessed. She had so much, and others had so little.”
Amy’s sister, Beth Bittle of Frederick, Md., said rarely did Amy go to the store, even if just to the grocery store or drugstore, that she didn’t come home with a little gift for someone.
“She was the biggest gift giver you could imagine,” Beth said. “She was so thoughtful, really sensitive, really diplomatic.”
Born and raised along Manor Church Road in Boonsboro, Amy graduated from Boonsboro High School in 1988. The youngest of Anita and the late Earl Bittle’s four children, she was only 3 when Earl died.
David was the oldest, followed by Robin, who was “profoundly retarded,” Anita said, then Beth and Amy. Robin died when she was 9 1/2, having lived at Melmark, a special-needs home, since age 4.
Amy also had a cousin with special needs, so she had a soft spot for people who were mentally or physically challenged. She worked as a residential manager for ARC at one point in her career.
Amy and Beth had a special bond.
“She was my best friend,” Beth said. “We were each other’s confidants. We grew up like that. It never ended.”
About three years after Earl’s death, Anita married William “Bill” Elliott. The Bittle children considered Bill their father.
“He was the only father she remembered,” Anita said of Amy.
“He has been a perfect rock for us. They’ll say the best decision I made was marrying Bill. He really loved all of them, but he and Amy had a really tight bond because she lived with us for a year and a half. She was such an appreciative, generous person with her compliments.”
Amy’s adoration of Bill was mutual. He noted that her focus never was on possessions, but that it was relationships that mattered to her and taking care of her son, Adam.
“She had absolutely no interest in material things,” Bill said. “Things were functional. She wanted a little house for her and Adam and a little car.”
David remarked at the service that it was easy to remember Amy’s “wide smile, exceptional compassion and kind heart” ... laugh, silliness and “inherent sweetness.”
“She made us laugh,” Anita said. “She was always looking for a fun time with everything.”
As an example, Amy had given Anita and a friend gaudy green necklaces for St. Patrick’s Day. Amy also was known for putting plastic snakes and bugs in beds as a practical joke.