Robert Pitma Obituary (1928 – 2022) – San Mateo, CA

The Rev. Dr. Robert Andrew Pitman of Northport, Michigan and San Carlos, California passed away at Munson Hospital in Traverse City, Michigan on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

Born in San Francisco, California, July 18, 1928, he was the oldest son of Robert Freeman Pitman and Mildred Pinkerton Pitman. Bob was predeceased by both parents and his two siblings, Mary Pitman Perry and David Pitman. He was also predeceased by his first wife, Marilyn Pitman of San Mateo, California.

Bob is survived by his wife, Margo Gillespie Elliott, one son Marvin Rodney Pitman, a niece Lynn Pitman Rowe of Morgan Hill, California, nephews Mr. Robert Pitman of San Jose, California and The Rev. Thomas Pitman of Norwalk, Connecticut and Jean B. Olson of Darien, Connecticut, and six step grandchildren: Benjamin, Nicholas and Lucas Sosnow and Elizabeth, Griffin and Lilly Olson.

Bob grew up in California spending his first 12 years in San Francisco before moving to Saratoga, California, where his family had a large prune/apricot ranch (Sunsweet). He graduated with honors from San Jose State College with a degree in criminal justice and was hired by the New York City Police Department as a hostage negotiator.

Following a busy, demanding and challenging job with the NYPD, Bob was called into the Christian Ministry. He attended Austin Seminary in Texas and did further study to receive his doctorate. He became a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA and over 36 years served as Senior Pastor of three 1000-member congregations: The Canal Street Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, The White Rock Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas (a new church development he started with 90 members and left with 1,500 members) and the First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo, California.

Bob was a beloved pastor, friend, gifted preacher and evangelist, who believed that retirement only occurred when a servant of the Lord left this earth to be with the Lord for eternity. His final years of formal Christian service were spent serving as founder and first President of the Knox Fellowship, a nation and world-wide evangelism ministry, and following that (20 years) served as founder and first President of the Global Fellowship Network, Inc.

Although Bob officially retired 13 years ago, he never lost his zeal for leading people into a personal, living relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. He was convinced that real meaning and satisfaction in life came not from the accumulation of wealth but rather in giving of yourself, time, talent and treasure to others. He is and always will be cherished and missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, countless friends and people all over the USA and the world who proudly called him their “Spiritual Father.”

In his “official” retirement, he adored his home and new friends in Northport, Michigan, as well as his numerous old friends in San Mateo and San Carlos, California. He was very pleased and proud to be a new member of the Covenant Church in Northport, Michigan.

Gifts in Bob’s memory can be made to: The Covenant Church of Northport, Michigan, Atwill Memorial Chapel of Northport Point, First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo, Samaritan’s Purse (Billy Graham Foundation) and the Robert Pitman Education Fund.

A memorial service will be held in November at the First Presbyterian of San Mateo. Date to be announced.

Published by The San Mateo Daily Journal on Jun. 25, 2022.

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