Willis E. “Bill” Pitts, 92, of Garden City, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City.
He was born Sept. 4, 1925, in Jetmore, to Oren Earl and Elizabeth Julia “Lizzie” Love Pitts.
On April 24, 1948, he married Mary M. Hey in Jetmore.
Mr. Pitts worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation for 42 years, starting on road construction and retiring as a mineral supervisor. After his retirement, he worked for Taylor & Associates for 10 years, Klotz Sand Co. for nine years and Gerald Edwards for two years. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and served in the Army Reserves. His real love was being a cowboy and handling his horses and his fishing trips.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Garden City, American Legion, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Finney County Senior Citizens Aging Committee and spent over 20 years as a member of the Beef Empire Days Rodeo Committee.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Pitts; a son, Terry (Sondra Jantz) Pitts of Ford County; a daughter, Peggy Hands of Garden City; three brothers, Vernon (Lola) Pitts of Kansas City, Mo., and Norman (Eleanor) Pitts and Jerald (Donna) Pitts, all of Jetmore; five grandchildren, Melissa (Scott) VanderHamm and Travis (Jodi) Pitts, all of Ingalls, Trevor (Jenny) Hands and Tyler (Amanda) Hands, all of Garden City, and Tiffany (Craig) Stockebrand of Salina; and nine great-grandchildren, Jhett and Logan VanderHamm, Jaxson and Tryan Pitts, Macy, Gentry and Lainey Hands, and Tabor and Payton Stockebrand.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Jesse Pitts, Warren Pitts and John Pitts; two sisters, Audrey Pitts and Eunice Lampe; and a son-in-law, Greg Hands.
Funeral will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church. Burial will be at Fairmont Cemetery in Jetmore, with military graveside rites conducted.
Visitation hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m., at Garnand Funeral Home in Garden City.
Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com. Memorials are suggested to the First United Methodist Church, in care of the funeral home, 412 N. Seventh St., Garden City, KS 67846.