Robert Pittman

Robert Pittman

ASTORIA — Robert “Bob” C. Pittman, 88, of Astoria passed away at 10:30 a.m. Friday (Oct. 12, 2018) at home.

He was born March 23, 1930, to Arthur and Leta (Mellier) Pittman, the fourth of eight children. Bob graduated from Cuba High School, Cuba, Ill., where he participated in 4H and FFA, earning the State Farm Award. He graduated from McPherson College with a BS degree in industrial arts and from the University of Illinois, where he earned his master's degree in vocational education.

He married Marianne Rhoades on July 24, 1955, in Astoria. She survives. They have three children by birth, Oralea Anne Pittman of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Paul Arthur (and Julie) Pittman of Woodside, Calif., and their daughters, Allison and Catherine, and Rhonda Kathleen (and Mark) Gingrich of Minneapolis, Minn., and their daughters, Sophia and Addison. Bob and Marianne’s family was enlarged and enriched by An and the late Hoa Tran, Vietnamese refugees who adopted them as their mother and father and gave them two more grandchildren, Huy (and Shama) Tran, and their son, Arjun, and Linda (and Jorge) Lopez and their two children, Lucas and Liliana.

Bob is also survived by two sisters, Barbara Miller of Astoria and Elizabeth Gramm of Nashville, Tenn., and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his four brothers, Howard, Richard, Charles and Arthur “Jack” Pittman, and one sister, Marilea Kessler.

Bob taught school for 27 years, 25 of them in vocational building trades, building houses with students.

He was active in Church of the Brethren, where he held leadership positions at the local, district and denominational level.  He worked with Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries, where he served in many states directing the work of volunteers helping in the recovery following a disaster. His teaching experience was valuable in this work. He served as a trainer for other project directors and served as interim director of Brethren Disaster Ministries from January 1999 to June 1999.

Bob worked as the supervisor of volunteers in the building of churches, parsonages and church camp facilities.

His hobbies included traveling, wood crafts (especially turning rolling pins) and collecting antique tools.

Services will be held Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at Shawgo Memorial Home, Astoria. The Reverends Ed Woodard, Lisa Fike and Dan Cole will officiate. Visitation will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the funeral home. Interment will be in Woodland Cemetery, Astoria.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family requests memorials be made to the Brethren Disaster Ministries, 601 N. Main, PO Box 188, New Windsor, MD  21776-0188, or Camp Emmanuel, PO Box 557, Astoria, IL 61501.