Dr. Robert Rees Pitts, 93, of Plainview, Texas, passed away on Thursday, December 3, 2020. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, December 9, at 2:00 p.m. at Parklawn Memorial Gardens, 3600 S. Bus. IH 27, Plainview, Texas, with Steve Gauntt, minister of Garland Street Church of Christ, officiating. Burial will be under the direction of Bartley Funeral Home. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Robert was born in Plemons, Texas to Hardy Wilson and Lillie Leah (Over) Pitts on March 28, 1927. He graduated from Amarillo High School in 1945 and attended Amarillo Junior College for one year. He then transferred to Baylor University in Waco, Texas and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949. Dr. Pitts then attended Baylor Dental College in Dallas, Texas and obtained a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1953. He was a Grand Master in Psi Omega fraternity at Baylor Dental College.
Bob (as he was called by his beautiful wife and many friends) married the love of his life, Martha Elise Robinson, on April 2, 1953 in Dallas, Texas. They were married for 62 years, until Martha's death in July 2015, and had one child, their daughter Dawn, born in 1962. Immediately following his wedding and graduation from dental school, Dr. Pitts practiced dentistry for a short period of time in Ft. Worth, Texas before attending the Medical Field Service School at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas in preparation for serving in the United States Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of the Medical Field Service School he was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska as a First Lieutenant at Ladd Air Force Base, attached to the 274 th Field Artillery Battalion as a dental surgeon. He served in the Army from April 1954 through December 1955.
After returning from Alaska, Bob and Martha took some time to "scout out" several towns in West Texas in which to settle and build a life together. They ultimately decided on Plainview, Texas and moved to Plainview in March 1956. Dr. Pitts opened his dental practice in the Weksler Building on 7th Street in April 1956 and practiced dentistry from that location until his retirement on December 31, 2005. He was a lifetime member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. He was also a member of the South Plains Dental Society and the American Academy of General Dentistry.
Bob was a lifetime member and a past president of the Plainview Lions Club. As a Lion, he received the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and was a lifetime member of the Lions Great Plains Eye Bank, and served as a chairman for the Lions Sight Conservation Committee. He was also a past president of the Plainview YMCA and the Plainview Knife and Fork Club, a member of Toastmasters, Plainview Downtown Association, and served on the board of Crime Stoppers.
Dr. Pitts loved spending time with his family and friends. For many years he enjoyed playing tennis, racquetball, and golf. He was also a pilot and flew a little four-seater plane for several years that was kept out at Miller's Flying Service in Plainview. Bob and Martha also travelled extensively throughout the United States and the world. Bob had a great sense of humor and was an avid reader and lifelong learner. He was also a great storyteller and had many stories about his life experiences and his family.
Bob was a former deacon at Garland Street Church of Christ and also taught many Bible classes at 10th and Utica and Garland Street Churches of Christ. Those remaining are his one daughter, Dawn (Vince) Johnston of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; two granddaughters, Rachel (Matthew) Dunn of Shavertown, Pennsylvania, and Leah Tollett of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; four step grandchildren, Vincent Johnston, Liam Johnston, Kellen Johnston, and Meredith Johnston, all of Warminster, Pennsylvania; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews from all over the United States.
Those preceding him in death are his wife Martha; his mother and father, Lillie and Hardy Pitts; six sisters, Leah (Dayton) Potter, Clara (V.B.) West, Margaret (Urschel) Brooks, Edna Earle (Jim) Bassett, Nell (Touch) Touchstone), Frances (Otto) Benson; three brothers, John (Faye) Pitts, James (Helen) Pitts, and Hardy (Bettye) Pitts.
Memorial donations may be made to Garland Street Church of Christ, 700 Garland Street, Plainview, Texas 79072.
Published in Plainview Daily Herald from Dec. 7 to Dec. 9, 2020.