Bob Pittman flew his last mission as he left this life on September 13, 2022. Bob had been an aviator most of his 100 years. He was born in Norvell, Michigan in 1922 and grew-up in Ann Arbor, graduating from Ann Arbor High School in 1940. His first encounter with airplanes was in 1942 when he helped assembled B -24s working at the Bomber Plant at Willow Run while he was waiting for his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps. His future wife Betty (of 71 years) also worked at Willow Run during the World War II. They were married in 1943.
Not surprisingly, Bob learned to fly in the B-24. Before the war ended he would fly 40 missions in his beloved B-24 in the Pacific theater. He was very proud to have been a member of the initial crews who were trained to use the new top secret RADAR during the war. He was recalled during the Korean War to teach electronics/radar to young flyers.
After his service, Bob went back to Ann Arbor where he raised his family of 5 children. This was when he got his private pilot’s license.
His next aeronautical adventure sent him to Menominee in the upper peninsula to Enstrom helicopters where he worked for 8 years as quality control manager. This job prepared him for his last job as quality control inspector for manufacturing processes for the FAA which he did for 10 years in the Great Lakes and the New England Regions. Bob retired in 1984 to be a “gentleman farmer” on his 20 acre farm on Beaver Island. The family worked together to built his new home on the Island where Bob and Betty lived for 10 years and where one of his granddaughters presently lives. Then began the traveling episode of his life when he and Betty flew to many different foreign destinations. He lived in Germany with his daughter twice, each time for six months, once March to October and again October to March. They were able to visit many countries and friends all over Europe.
Bob loved music, he and Betty always sang in the church choir. They were very active in the church wherever they lived. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the American Legion, and was a ham radio operator. From 1994 to present Bob lived in Charlevoix and loved his neighborhood. He was preceded in death by his son Bob in 1963 and wife Betty in 2015. He is survived by one sister Joyce (Bob+) Cook of Chelsea, four children, Marilee Pittman-Rothaupt (Joerg+) of Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany, Patt (Bob) Dworkin of Rockwall, Texas, Phillip Pittman of Charlevoix and Joanne Pittman of Charlevoix; grandchildren Helena James Moore (Matt) of Mount Pleasant, Larissa James McGinnity of Beaver Island, Meghan Dworkin McClain (Derek) of West Warwick, R.I., Erin Dworkin Santos (Rob) of Liberty Hill, Texas and Rob Dworkin of Rhode Island; great-grandchildren Sydney, Colin, and Nathan Moore, Mount Pleasant and Lysander, Leif, and Killian McGinnity, Beaver Island.
He will be remembered by friends and family for his many fascinating stories, his remarkable memory, his knowledge of history, love of music, ever-present sense of humor, and as always being a shining example of a polite and thankful gentleman. Visitation and rosary will be in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Charlevoix on Thursday, September 22 from 5:00 to 7:00 and a funeral mass with Father Peter Wigton officiating on Friday, September 23 at 11:00 and burial with military honors following at the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Glen McDonough Memorial Music Scholarship Fund, 301 May St., Charlevoix, MI 49720.
Arrangements are in the care of the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com