David J. Pitkin

David J. Pitkin ChestertownDavid J. Pitkin, retired teacher and local author, died Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at his home in Chestertown. Son of Corliss and Mary (Carney) Pitkin, he was born in Corinth, NY on March 7, 1939. Graduating from Corinth Central High School, the State University in Albany and Goddard College in Vermont, he held a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts in social studies education, and a master of arts in counseling psychology. He is survived by a brother, Joseph (Jeanne) Pitkin of Hagaman, NY; four sisters, Susan M. Lee of Clifton Park, Nancy (Christopher) Clark of Berwyn, PA, Maureen Draganchuk of Middletown, NY and Jacqueline VanNoy of Edmonds, WA. He had three children, Lisa Pitkin of Altamont, NY, Daniel Pitkin of New York City, and John Pitkin of Parsippany, NJ; and two grandchildren, Noah and Naomi Pitkin of Altamont, NY. He is also survived by a dear companion, Diane Wood of Lake George. Pitkin received several honors during his 36 year teaching career, including an honorary 1961 brigadier-generalship in the Sullivan County (NY) Militia for his school wide Civil War Centennial Program in Eldred, NY. He taught at both Oriskany and Holland Patent High Schools in central New York State, and during that time co-founded the Battle of Oriskany Historical Society and the Oriskany Village Museum. In 1967 to 1968 he created and produced The Battle of Oriskany, a sound and light recreation at the 1777 battlefield. Additionally, he worked as a laborer on the Ft. Stanwix archaeological excavation in Rome, NY in the late sixties. During his final 25 years of teaching in Saratoga Springs, David was also a religious education teacher at St. Peter's Catholic Church. He was co-founder of Give A Child Christmas in the city in 1971. He also helped establish Parapsychology Study and Investigations, a paranormal research and educational group in Saratoga during the 1970s. For over 25 years he also served as a numerologist, providing spiritual counseling, and later writing a book on the subject. Upon retirement, he wrote his first book of collected Saratoga County ghost stories, which proved a success. Since then, he wrote and published eight more books in that genre. He created his own small publishing company, Aurora Publications in Chestertown, where he lived most recently. He often appeared as an authority on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory late night radio show, often appeared on Forum 13, a WNYT-TV interview program in Albany, and was a popular storyteller throughout New York State. He was the subject of a feature article in the August 2012 issue of Yankee Magazine. Funeral services will be conducted at Densmore Funeral Home, 7 Sherman Avenue, in Corinth on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Visiting hours will be from 1 to 3 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 3 with the Rev. Clayton Burgess officiating. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Donations in David's memory may be made to the Adirondack Voices, P.O. Box 4145 Queensbury, NY 12804 or to any local food pantry.

Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Feb. 14, 2013