Friday, May 9, 2014

Ray Pitman

I have been fortunate in this life to have met many interesting people, and Ray Pitman was a giant among them.

Some will tell you that "important" people don't have time for the "little" people--but Ray gave so much to so many for so long and he was going strong until the end last Wednesday at a bit over 89 years old.

The entire Kansas City community will miss him.

He would come to the house and have dinner and tell stories all night long. They were stories of his service during World War II in the Pacific, of his battles with unions in the Bottoms, and his development of all kinds of products. Ray was the kind of guy who didn't invent products, he invented industries. Like the trenchers familiar to us all that he developed with a guy in Auburn, Nebraska and used to pipe the natural gas system in Kansas City and Idaho.

Ray invented the digger derrick and the cherry picker. His factory churned out hundreds for the utilities that were building the electric distribution system of America. He rode horses with Reagan and served on boards across the nation.

Someone else can tell his story more completely and better than I can, but he was so good to Linda and to me and that is my part of the tale. We were the beneficiaries of his knowledge and his willingness to mentor others; so grateful for that and for just knowing him.

Journey on, Ray.

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