Alexander Funeral Home-Newburgh Chapel

5333 Old Indiana 261, Newburgh, IN


John Edward Wittenbraker

October 29, 1933July 22, 2020

John Edward Wittenbraker, Sr., formerly of Newburgh, Indiana passed away Wednesday, July 22 at the Hallmark Senior Living Community in Houston, Texas. He was born October 29, 1933 in Evansville to the late Carl Simon and Mary Ellen (Ritzel) Wittenbraker.

John served as Principal of Castle High School for 18 years before moving on to Assistant Superintendent and then Director of the Warrick County School Corporation. Prior to that he served as the Director instrumental and vocal music at Castle where he composed Castle Fight Song. He retired in 1995, but came out of retirement in 2006 to serve a year as Interim Principal of the Evansville Lutheran School. He was active in professional educational associations, including the NASSP where he was honored in 1986 as Principal of the Year for Indiana. He also served as the President of the Warrick County Board of Health.

A life long bass player, he played tuba and string bass in a variety of organizations including the 36th Army Band, Temple Aires, River Brass Band, The Old Dam Band, The Dixielanders, and the Red Banks Reunion Band. He also served on the boards of the Evansville Symphonic Band and the Evansville Jazz Society and was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

John was a graduate of Bosse High School and Indiana State University. He was a member and served on the Vestry of Peace Lutheran Church and as an Elder at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy Wathan and brothers, Robert and Thomas Wittenbraker.

John is survived by his wife, Carol (Gray) Wittenbraker, Dr. John Wittenbraker (son) and Dr. Kathleen Harring, Paul (son) and Brenda Wittenbraker, and Elaine (daughter) and Awny Gabriel, and his granddaughters, Carolyn Wittenbraker and Jasmine Gabriel.

Because of the current public health conditions, interment will be held in private at Rose Hill Cemetery. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a future date where family and friends can gather together in the Newburgh area.

Memorial contributions may be made to the River Brass Youth Band, 3418 Robin Hood Drive, Evansville, IN 47720.

Condolences may be offered at www.AlexanderNewburghChapel.com.


  • A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


John Edward Wittenbraker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Alex Schnautz

July 31, 2020

John was one of the first people I met when I joined the Bend in the River Brass Band (now River Brass). I had the pleasure of spending my first couple years with that band seated right next to him in the Eb tuba section. He helped me get acquainted with the brass band world, and I looked forward to rehearsals with him every week.

John's passion for music has always been evident, but what really made John special was his friendly personality - I'm not sure I've ever seen him have a bad day - he always brought a smile to those around him.

Between his music ventures and his career in education, John has touched so many lives and has made each one that much better. We already miss him dearly.

Jan Mabis

July 29, 2020

Carol and Family: Heartfelt sympathy to you all in John's passing. What a good and kind man! And I will share a memory that no one else will have ... Many years ago, one of our sons was asked to ride in your convertible (going to the church picnic site , I believe) and he has just never forgotten that thrill - that John asked him AND then got to tool about in such a cool car! I know John made an impression on many kids in varied and memorable ways - what a legacy!
Bruce and Jan Mabis and Family

Ron and Norma Bray Faust

July 28, 2020

You have our sympathy and you are in our prayers.

Sharman (Mulzer) Jarboe

July 27, 2020

As a member of the Castle High School Class of '70, I well recall Mr. Wittenbraker when he was our principal. He was a multi-talented (I still can sing the Castle fight song!) and kind man. My condolences to his family and friends.

Judy and Allen Bradley

July 26, 2020

We were blessed to know John through the Temple Airs and the Evansville ballroom dance clubs. Such a sweet soul. Prayers to Carol and his family.

Sarah Gonzalez

July 26, 2020

Mr. Wittenbraker was my high school principal and a longtime family friend. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to visit with Mrs. Wittenbraker and him here in Houston last summer. It was great to catch up and I’m glad my own daughter got to meet him, as well.

My condolences to Mrs. Wittenbraker, Paul, John, Elaine and your families. You are in my thoughts.

Sarah (Dunlap) Gonzalez

Robert & JoAnne Reinhardt

July 26, 2020

It has been a great privilege to have John as a friend. Both John and Carol were and she continues to be a positive witness to the hope that they shared in Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that the Holy Comforter will indeed shore Carol and her family up with the strength and faith that endures until the Savior returns to take us all to be with Him forever.

David Greer

July 26, 2020

I first met John in 2006 when I was serving as President of the Evansville Lutheran School Board. We needed an Interim Principal for the school and my wife, Kelley, remembered John as the Principal of Castle High School when she was a student there. One "cold call" later, the school was thankful and blessed to have John serving as our Interim Principal. He provided steady leadership through a turbulent period. After that, I was again pleased and blessed as a trombone player to sit next to John as a tuba player in the Redeemer Lutheran Festival Brass ensemble for various special services over the years. He always had fun musical stories to share.

Kenneth Kreke

July 26, 2020

John was a wonderful educator, father and friend. He was a role model for many of the administrators who came after him. Our prayers go out to Carol, John, Paul and Elaine. We were all better people for knowing and working with John.

Kathryn (Diaz) DiDomizio

July 25, 2020

Mr. Wittenbraker was a highly respected educator, wonderful role model, and a true inspiration to countless young people. My sincere condolences to all of his family.