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Friends, family miss Kitterle's wit

Sean Smith, Correspondent
Article Created: 08/20/2008 08:44:32 PM PDT

RIALTO - A friendly debate about athleticism once prompted Police Cpl. Kurt Kitterle to challenge his fellow SWAT members to a footrace, which he not only lost, but also took a quite a fall just before reaching the finish line.

Despite the tumble, Kitterle could not have cared less.

"(Kitterle) was always up for a challenge," said Lt. Randy De Anda of the Rialto Police Department, who served on the SWAT team with Kitterle. "He had such a great sense of humor. Losing didn't seem to bother him at all."
The witty personality and unselfishness that made Kitterle so well-liked by those who knew him will be missed. Kitterle died Friday after a year and a half battle with brain cancer.

He was 50.

Kitterle was born in New Jersey but moved to Southern California with his family at a young age.

After graduating high school, Kitterle joined the Army and became a military police officer. He spent four years in the service and received commendations for heroic action and exemplary service.
Kitterle began his career in law enforcement soon after his time in the military. He became a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in 1980.

In 1989, Kitterle joined the Rialto Police Department and served in various capacities of law enforcement there.

Capt. Tony Farrar of the Rialto Police Department said Kitterle's absence has been felt both departmentally and on a personal level.
"(Kitterle) was kind of the go-to guy because of his experience and knowledge," said Farrar, who worked with Kitterle for nearly 20 years. "His sense of humor also drew people in, and it was just easy for people to be around him."

Kitterle worked in patrol, narcotics, on the SWAT Team, the Street Crime Attack Team and as a detective, among other duties.

De Anda said Kitterle's work ethic influenced those who worked with him.

"He seemed to be good at everything he did," said De Anda, who worked with Kitterle for 18 years. "He was looked up to and he was a leader."

Kitterle most recently worked as a homicide detective and excelled at the job, according to De Anda.

"He was involved in several high profile homicide investigations, which led to the arrest of several felons," De Anda said.

Kitterle began feeling ill while interviewing a suspect during a 2007 homicide investigation, which he worked on for more than 24 consecutive hours. He was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center for surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Kitterle is survived by his wife, Rita; his mother, Joyce; his father, August; two sisters; two sons, Kyle and Chad; and two grandchildren.

Services will be held today at Calvary Chapel Church at 1391 W. Merrill Ave., in Rialto at 10a.m. Flowers can be sent to the church or a donation can be made in Kitterle's name to the City of Hope's brain cancer research efforts.
Contact Akweta Colbert at (626) 301-7280 to contribute to Mike Chen's general brain tumor program.
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