John (Jack) Anderson Pitt, 90, of Blacksburg died unexpectedly from a head injury, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at Kroontje Health Care Center with his oldest son, John by his side, who felt ‘blessed to help him leave this world, knowing he was loved by his whole incredible family’ and ‘pass on to heaven’ to join his beloved wife of 67 years, Barbara Jean Pitt.
Born on Sept. 29, 1927, he was the only child born to the late Samuel Pitt and Elizabeth Cummings Anderson Pitt in Chicago, Illinois, both originally from Kilmarnock, Scotland.
Jack graduated from Westfield High School, NJ in 1945 and from Duke University June 5, 1950 and married Barbara Jean Van Houten that afternoon.
He will be forever fondly remembered by his four children, Carol Ann Pitt Eggleston, John Anderson Pitt, Jr (and wife Jenwyl); Barbara Elizabeth Pitt Moore (Betsy), James Rutherford Pitt (and wife Cheryl); ten grandchildren – Joseph Dietzel, Jacob Dietzel, Jessica (and husband Jake) Benninger, Heather (and husband Andy) Weigel, Brian (and wife Alexandra) Eggleston, Kerri Eggleston, John Anderson Pitt III; Justin Pitt, Sam (and wife Katie) Pitt; Jordan Pitt and one great granddaughter Abigail Pitt. He was a loving father and grandfather always proud of his kid’s and grandkid’s accomplishments; and will be greatly missed.
He loved to work on cars especially Corvettes. After retiring from his career as an industrial sales engineer, sailing became his passion, racing his boat ‘Sirocco’ winning or placing in many races and educating young adults about sailing through the Peace River Power Squadron at Charlotte Harbor, Florida. He cruised to many countries with his final cruise to Cuba last year. He was a lifelong learner taking classes through Virginia Tech, the Police Academy and many Civil War seminars.
As a World War II Navy veteran, Jack often talked of his desire for a burial at sea by the Navy. John Masefield’s ‘Sea Fever’ was a favorite poem of his.
“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.“
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Warm Hearth Foundation, 2387 Warm Hearth Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Kroontje Health Care Center for their loving care and helping Jack feel like part of a large family in his short time there. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.