Dr. Tony R. Pitkin, 88, Professor, Emeritus, of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, 88, of Callaway, Nebraska passed away on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney surrounded by his loving family.
He was born June 23, 1934 in rural Callaway, Nebraska to Cleveland Ashley and Mattie May (Price) Pitkin. Tony received his education from Callaway Public Schools and graduated from Callaway High School with the class of 1952. In high school, Tony excelled in sports where he was all conference in football and basketball. He also went to state in track and played on three different baseball teams in the summer, Callaway Legion, Callaway Town and Broken Bow Legion. Tony received a basketball scholarship to Milford Trade School. While attending Milford, Tony graduated in 1954 as a Diesel Mechanic.
Tony was inducted into the United States Army on January 7, 1955. He spent almost two years in the Army and served in Germany as a tank mechanic. While in Germany, Tony played basketball and volleyball, traveling around Germany playing against different troops. He proudly served his country until he was honorably discharged on December 5, 1956. While he was in the Army, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at a stop along a travel route and he lived all the days of his life grounded in that faith.
Tony was united in marriage to Beverly Krueger on August 30, 1959 in Chaffee, ND, while both were students at Westmar College. He graduated in 1962 with his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science. He then earned his Master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 1966 in Physical Education followed with his Doctorate in 1968. Five children were blessed to this union: Michael, Gregg, Holly, Mark and Ashley.
At Riverton, Iowa, he taught High School Social Studies and coached boys and girls basketball for a year. He was then the Principal of Riverton/Farragut schools for two years. Tony worked Regional Experimental Mathematics Project in Sioux City, Iowa for two years, where his Doctoral Dissertation came out of this project. In the fall of 1971, he started at Gordon College as the Education Professor, working there for 26 years, retiring in 1997 to pursue a life long dream of cattle farming back in his hometown of Callaway, Nebraska.
Tony and Beverly moved to Callaway in 1997, where Tony stayed active in the community. He served on the Callaway Board of Education for 8 years. A member of the Callaway Community Church serving as the treasurer and elder. He was a proud member of the American Legion Bryson-Booker Post 59 and Gideons member.
Tony had a passion for sports, especially Huskers & Callaway football and volleyball. He had a passion for service through Callaway Community Church, American Legion, and Gideons. He loved Dr Pepper, homemade ice cream, pecan pie, Gunsmoke, Buelingo cows, belting out hymns anytime, studying and teaching the Bible, driving the country and sharing stories, lawn care, back scratches, shootin' the breeze, and a good nap. He loved and wife Beverly and his family deeply and was a wonderful grandpa to each and every one of his 11 grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Beverly of Callaway; his children, Mike (Becky) Pitkin of Bismarck, North Dakota, Gregg (Lori) Pitkin of Lewisville, Texas, Holly (Glen) Schuhmacher of Nokesville, Virginia, Mark (Elisa) Pitkin of Hamilton, Massachusetts, and Ashley (Dean) Howard of Agawam, Massachusetts; eleven grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Besides his parents, Tony was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Margaret Pitkin and his siblings, Ira (Georgia) Pitkin, Charles (Mildred) Pitkin, Thelma (Bill) G’Schwind, Freda (Aaron) Lindstedt and Margie (Dean) Headley.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Callaway Community Church in Callaway with Pastor Dean Haidle, officiating. The service will be live-streamed via the Reynolds-Love Funeral Home Facebook page.
Inurnment with Military Honors will be in Rose Hill Cemetery at Callaway.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Callaway Community Church, Tony & Beverly Pitkin’s Educational Scholarship Fund or the Gideons. Send check to Callaway Education Foundation, P.O. Box 188, Callaway, NE 68825 designates for Tony & Beverly Pitkin Education Scholarship (yearly scholarship given to deserving Callaway High School Senior for further education)
Timm-Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Callaway is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com