Carl Thomas Pitts
November 4, 1936 - March 2, 2015

 
 






Dr. Carl Thomas Pitts, of Terre Haute, died on March 2, 2015 at home with his wife Sharon at his side after a lengthy illness.

Dr. Tom Pitts was born on November 4, 1936 to Loren and Lucille Woodall Pitts in Vincennes, Indiana. Tom graduated from Vincennes Lincoln High School where he played football, baseball, and was a starter for Hall of Famer Coach Chet Francis on the basketball team for three years. He helped Vincennes reach the final eight of the Indiana State High School Basketball Tournament in 1955, pacing the Alices in scoring, free throw shooting and rebounding. He was selected All-conference, was a member of the Indiana All-Stars, the 1980 Silver Anniversary team, and was inducted in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. Upon graduation he played collegiately for one year at Colorado and then transferred to Indiana State when Coach Beeb Lee left Colorado for Kansas State. Dr. Pitts broke into the starting lineup midway through his sophomore year for Coach Duane Kleuh and averaged 20 points per game. He helped lead the sycamores to the NAIA National Tournament.

Dr. Pitts was a member of Blue Key a national honorary fraternity for outstanding scholarship and service, Sigma Nu fraternity, the I-Menís Club, and Alpha Phi Omega. He graduated from Indiana Teachers College in 1961 with a BS in mathematics education and a MA degree in math and computer science in 1962. Upon graduation from Indiana State he taught at Wiley High School for two years and was an assistant coach for basketball, cross country and track. He then was hired as the boysí basketball head coach at Brownsburg and chairman of the mathematics department, before Dr. Vesper Moore talked Tom into coming back to Indiana State to teach math and to complete his PhD which he did in 1973. He also officiated high school basketball games for seventeen years. He has been an avid supporter of ISU since his graduation in 1961.

During his forty year tenure at Indiana State, Dr. Pitts served on the ISU Athletic Committee; was President of the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics; was a national consultant for Houghton Mifflin and Random House; was President and later sponsor of Pi Mu Epsilon, a math honorary; was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and was a presenter at numerous National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences and conventions.

Dr. Pitts was the first Title I math consultant for the Vigo County School Corporation. He presented classroom demonstrations and workshops for teachers and trained the math assistants to work with students needing additional help in the understanding of mathematics.

In 1990 he was elected to serve his second term on the Vigo County School Board representing the West Terre Haute area.

Dr. Pitts became a Master Mason in 1964 at Vincennes Lodge #1 before transferring to WTH Lodge #687 where he became the Most Worshipful Master in 1984. He joined the Scottish Rite of the Valley of Terre Haute in 1966 and was elected Thrice Potent Master in 1977. He served as the treasurer of the Scottish Rite for two years and was crowned a 33 mason in September of 1981. He served as the Executive Secretary of the Scottish Rite from 1981 to September 2006. He received the Indiana Council of Deliberation Medal of Honor for outstanding service to Freemasonry in 2008. He received a commendation for having been a mason for fifty years this past September.

Dr. Pitts was also a member of the Zorah Shrine, the Elks, the Strawberry Hill Cannoneers, Jesters Court 45, Kerman Grotto, Indiana Retired Teachers Association and the Wabash Valley Central Labor Council.

Other honors bestowed on Dr. Pitts were: Margaret Banker Community Service Award, the Distinguished Hoosier Award, and the Community Leader of America Award in 1969. He was also made a Kentucky Colonel in 2003. Tom was an avid reader, a Yankee fan, loved to hunt and fish, loved to play golf especially with his family, play cards, go to movies, see Broadway plays and enjoyed being with his friends and family. He and Sharon had traveled to all fifty states enjoying the sights and traditions of the land.

Dr Pitts is survived by his wife of thirty-six years Dr. Sharon Pitts, two brothers Larry Pitts (Suzi) and Denny Pitts, two sisters Edie Ross (Fred), and Deanna Calvert (Don), brother and sister-in-law Tim and Susan Clements, special niece Sara Clements, nieces Annie Stuhlmacher (Nathan), Abby Hagan (Steve), Sandy Klein(Adam), Michelle Pitts, nephews Matt and Andy Lake, great niece Claire Stuhlmacher, great nephews Carter, Caleb and Cole Stuhlmacher and devoted cousin Theresa White.

The family would like to thank Jan Schnurpel, Gretchen, Gaven and Gaddis Baysinger, Bruce Lautenschlager, Dan Raubuck, and Chris Lazzell for their caring and staying with Tom during this time. Also special thanks to Drs. Steve McDonald and Eric Prystowski for their care and friendship and the staff of Gentiva Hospice for their support and comfort to both Dr. Pitts and his wife. Dr. Pitts was a Methodist, but enjoyed going to mass with his wife at St. Joseph University Parish until health issues became more prevalent.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th Street, with Rev. Allissa Williams presiding at the funeral and Eulogies presented by longtime friends Mr. Don Nattkemper and Mr. Steve Williams. Burial will be in Highland Lawn Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled for Friday from 3:30-7:00 P.M. with Masonic Memorial Services at 7:00 P.M. followed by Scottish Rite and 33rd Degree Services. Pall Bearers will be Robert Pychinka, Bruce Lautenschlager, Gaddis Baysinger, Tim Clements, Larry Pitts and Denny Pitts. Honorary Pall Bearers will be Terry Niece, Warren Ross, Joe Granda, Bob Durham, John Coughanowr and Pat Sheehan. The family kindly requests that memorial contributions may be made to ISU Athletics, c/o Basketball Program, Indiana State University Foundation, 30 North Fifth Street, Terre Haute, IN 47809; St. Vincent Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis, IN 46260; Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131-3597 or to Vigo County Education Foundation, 686 Wabash Avenue, P.O. Box 3703, Terre Haute, IN 47803. Funeral information may also be found at www.callahanandhughes.com .

FACTS
Born: November 4, 1936
Death: March 2, 2015
SERVICES
Visitation
Friday March 6, 2015, 3:30 - 7:00 P.M. at Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home
Funeral Services
Saturday March 7, 2015, 11:00 A.M. at Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home
Burial
Saturday March 7, 2015 at Highland Lawn Cemetery
DONATIONS
Memorial donations may be made to:
ISU Athletics, c/o Basketball Program, Indiana State University Foundation, 30 North Fifth Street, Terre Haute, IN 47809;
St. Vincent Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis, IN 46260;
Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131-3597
or to Vigo County Education Foundation, 686 Wabash Avenue, P.O. Box 3703, Terre Haute, IN 47803.

 


Tom's Hall of Fame Painting

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This page last updated on April 19, 2012 .