June 29, 1947 – January 4, 2020
72, of Tampa, passed away January 4, 2020.
He graduated Avella High School in Pennsylvania where he excelled as a quarterback in football and in wrestling. Gary then attended and graduated from Bethany College where he continued football, wrestling and was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He obtained his MBA from Duquesne University. He also served in the Army Reserves for several years.
Gary began his career with Aetna in the 1970’s and rose to a senior management position. He left Aetna to form Florida One Brokerage, where his one-man operation beat out large companies for top production awards. However, his pride and joy was when he joined with his best friend, the late Jack Newkirk, to become co-owners of Newk’s Café, one of the first businesses in the early days of the newly revitalized Channelside Drive area of Tampa, FL. In addition to his remarkable intelligence, creativity, and sense of humor, Gary is also remembered for the countless dogs and cats he rescued.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Ronald Pittman and Wilma Brautigam Pittman; his sister, Betty Gene Pittman Kelly; and his brother, Ronald Pittman. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Pittman; many nieces and nephews; step-daughters, Tammy O’Rourke, Linda Murphy, Tracy (Frank) Bisignano and four step-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 11th at 10am at Blount Curry MacDill, 605 S. MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33609. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Meals on Wheels or the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay. Please visit his online guestbook at www.blountcurrymacdill.com.
- Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Ronald Pittman and Wilma Brautigam Pittman; his sister, Betty Gene Pittman Kelly; and his brother, Ronald Pittman. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Pittman; many nieces and nephews; step-daughters, Tammy O’Rourke, Linda Murphy, Tracy (Frank) Bisignano and four step-grandchildren.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, January 11, 2020
January 17, 2020
Fond memories of ALL our Avella escapades- Rest In Peace, my friend
January 10, 2020
I met Gary when we were 13 years old & have kept in touch with him for 60 years. We played little league and H.S. football together. Thanks to email & class reunions, we kept in touch sharing personal updates & pictures before Facebook became a thing. I remember one day in HS when we were practicing football Gary was on a run/pass option play. If he decided to run the ball & not pass ... he was to shout the word "go" letting everyone know we should block for him. Well, one day in practice, we ran that play and Gary decided to run and yelled out the word "go". Mysteriously with no one near him ... his right foot "tackled" his left foot and he fell down. We all got a good laugh from that mishap ... including Gary. In our HS Sr. yearbook there is a game pic of Gary running in the open field ... ( I think that he actually scored a touchdown in the game on that play) ... with the caption "GO" beneath it. Very few people knew what that meant ... but the team knew and it was always our secret. When Suzanne told me of his passing I felt like another important part of my world went away. As I get older, I unfortunately seem to get that feeling with greater frequency. It sounds like he passed peacefully & quietly ... and I hope that when my appointment with eternity arrives I am as fortunate. RIP my dear friend ... eventually the hurt will subside but I know that the hole your passing made in me simply won't be filled. Until we meet again my friend. Always your teammate, Lou
January 9, 2020
Rest In Peace my Beta brother. I could fill the page with memories. Football, our trip to Nassau, the black VW Beetle, parties at the Beta house, evenings at The Jolly Roger, Momma Momma’s, premium beer at Breezy’s etc. The world has lost another one of the good ones.
Wayne & Karen Armand
January 9, 2020
Our condolences to my dear friend Suzanne and your family . Gary will be included in our nightly prayers. Thinking of you in these difficult times . We are here for you anytime.
January 8, 2020
Gary and I played on the Bethany Bison championship football teams of 1965 & 1966. He was a great person and player. My sympathy to the family.
January 7, 2020
I met Gary in the fall of 1966.Several friends and i went to a road house called the Bloody Bucket in W.Va. Some of the locals wanted to start a fight and as we were outnumbered. I saw Gary, John Bertram and another fellow sitting there with their Bethany letter jackets on.I explained what was going on and he said OK if you need help.Nothing happened after that but later on i became his little brother in Beta Theta Pi. I only stayed the one year and lost track of those from Bethany.Always wondered what happened to Gary after that. He was a true friend and wonderful human being.My best to Suzanne and his family. George Simms Washington Pa.
January 7, 2020
Sincere condolences to Gary’s family. I was a teammate on the Bethany Bison football team with Gary. He was a good person , class act, superior teammate and will be missed and remembered.
January 7, 2020
Condolences to Gary's family. We were Bethany Bisons, Beta Theta Pi brothers which led to great friendship during our college days. I lived in Charleroi Pa and often time dropped Gary off at his home on my way to Charleroi. Maybe a beer or 2 involved!!!