Albert "Al" Pitman
Birth date: December 1, 1939
Death date: June 24, 2012
Albert Pitman (Papa), 72, died on Sunday, June 24, 2012, with family and friends by his side. He fought a courageous battle with renal cell cancer for the past 4 months and passed away in his home the way he wanted. Albert was born on December 1, 1939 to Ellsworth and Vera Scott Pitman in Virginia City, Montana. Albert was raised in Butte with a cowboy heart and he lived out his life as a true cowboy. Albert drove stock truck for his father and Ralph “Old Man” Craddock in his youth. In his later years, he loved to do Cowboy Mounted Shooting with his dear and good friends Mike Mattfeldt and Roger Thompson.
Albert loved to fish and be in his boat. He was always looking for the big trout and walleye. He spent many days trying to show his wife, Kathy, where he caught all his walleye at Yellowtail, but never getting one when Kathy was with him…a true fisherman’s story. He fished the Yellowstone, Big Horn, Cooney Dam, and many other various places. He always looked forward to a summer outing with his family up at Cooney Dam. Most of the time he stayed dry but when he got wet there was always a great story behind it. He loved pulling his children and grandchildren behind the boat on an inner tube and behind a four-wheeler on a sled in the snow in the winter; or just letting them ride his horse, Jake, with their Papa nearby.
Albert enlisted in the United States Army in 1958 and served six years as a cook. Upon coming home to Butte, he met his first wife and mother of his four children, Beverly. They were married on June 15, 1963 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Butte. In 1974, Albert and Beverly moved with their kids to Billings, MT. There, he worked for Rocky Mountain Equipment Company as a mechanic. Then he moved onto Cummins followed by a job as shop foreman with Food Services of America. He was with FSA until his retirement in 2007 after 26 years of “exceptional service”.
In 1985, Albert and Beverly moved to Worden and fulfilled Albert’s lifelong dream of owning and running his own farm. Albert loved horses from the time he was a small boy and always had at least one, if not more. The last twelve years that horse was Jake, who was always ready for a gun shoot, ride or trip to go hunting in the mountains near Alder and on Ralph Craddock’s ranch in Ramsey.
In 2001, Albert lost the first love of his life Beverly, followed by the loss of his brother Herbert, niece Diane and his sister Edna. In 2010, he suffered the loss of his beloved mother, Vera, who believed the sun rose and set over him. It was a great loss for him and it was during this time he was first diagnosed with renal cell cancer.
In January of 2008, Albert met and fell in love with the second love of his life, Kathy Griffith. They were married on May 24, 2008. They spent the last 4+ years of his life together fishing, taking drives, working the farm, horseback riding and watching PBR. In the last four months Kathy took the role of not just of wife and best friend, but also as caregiver, never leaving Albert’s side.
Kathy and his daughter, Eileen, cared for and supported Albert for the past four months, always encouraging and loving him.
Albert turned over his life to our loving Savior and God and found peace in his heart and mind. It was in that peace that he was welcomed into Gods loving arms.
Albert is survived by his wife Kathy and his children, Chris (Steven) Rhodes of Antioch Tennessee, Denis (Paula) Pitman of Billings, Eileen Pitman of Billings, and Frank (Abbey) Pitman of Shepherd, MT. Albert is also survived by his step-children Riann, Mike (Elaine) and Billy Lemler. Albert had 18 grandchildren: Andy, Brandon, Shawn, Justin (JD), Tiffany and Sabrina Rhodes; Patrick, Joseph, Diandra, Renee, Daniel, Emily and Ryan Pitman; Shelby, Skyler and Dillon Pitman; Haley and Noah Elliot; and 3 great granddaughters. He is also survived by his best friend for over 60 years, Ralph Craddock, and many nieces, nephews and cousins, including Sue Cotton, Dan Jones, and Tom Hammaker all of Butte; and many friends.
A visitation will be held from 4-9 P.M. on Wednesday, June 27 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. At 7:30 a time of prayer and sharing will take place. Please bring stories of Albert you would like to share.
Funeral services will be on Thursday, June 28, at 2 pm at Faith E Church with burial in Pleasentview Cemetery in Ballantine to follow.
Donations in Albert’s name can be given to Riverstone Hospice or The American Heart Association.