In Memoriam: Omar Pitman, Jr. ‘57

The Rev. Canon Omar William Pitman, Jr., Class of 1957, died Monday, March 20, 2017 in San Antonio, TX at the age of 83. He was surrounded by his beloved wife, Mary Ellen, loving family members, and close friends. Pitman was the oldest of two children born to Omar William and Daphne Bernice Barnes Pitman in Big Spring, Texas in 1933. His dear sister, Nancy Pitman Lohner, preceded him in death.

Pitman was a graduate of New Mexico Military Institute before attending General Seminary. While living in Philadelphia and employed as a social worker at Horizon House, he met his wife, Mary Ellen Engels, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church where they sang together in the choir. Recognized by the City of Philadelphia as a Rising Star, he worked tirelessly on behalf of the mentally ill. They married in November, 1965, with a son, David William, arriving in November, 1969, and daughter, Margaret Ellen, in April, 1974. In 1984, Omar and Mary moved with the children to San Antonio to be closer to family. Omar was proudly active in the lives in his children, serving as President of the theatre booster club at McArthur High School where David participated in the drama program, and on the Board of the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio where Margaret played oboe.

Although he worked for many years in social work, education, and politics, Pitman was called back to the priesthood in San Antonio. He served as the Associate Rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for 15 years and, after a brief retirement, spent several years as Canon Missioner at St. Stephen’s and Holy Cross. He was a long-time member of the Lion’s Club and, in full retirement, was delighted to be accepted into the Sons of the Republic of Texas along with his son, grandsons, and cousin. He served as the Chaplain for the SRT Alamo Chapter and participated in various social groups at St. Luke’s, as well as being the Chaplain for the Verger’s Group. Most importantly, Omar and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children, grandchildren, nephews, cousins, and close friends in November of 2015. He accomplished a great many things and had a fascinating life, but he will be remembered most for his compassion for and devotion to others. His love for his family and friends is legendary.

Pitman is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Pitman; his son, David and his wife, Suzan; his daughter, Margaret Pitman McCoy and her husband, Mark; and grandchildren, Matthew William Pitman, Nace Benjamin Brown, and Daphne Rebecca Brown; as well as his niece, nephews, and cousins. A memorial service was held Saturday, March 25, 2017 at St. Lukes’s Episcopal Church, 11 St. Luke’s Lane, San Antonio, Texas.