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Rick E. Pitts

September 29, 1950 ~ March 12, 2020 (age 69)


Rick E. Pitts, of Granger, IN, passed away suddenly on March 12, 2020, in Destin, FL, with his wife of 22 years, Kathryn (Moore) Pitts, at his side. Rick was born September 29, 1950, in Hillsdale, MI, to Raymond Eugene Pitts and Eva Mae (Young) Rice.

In addition to his wife Kathryn, Rick is survived by his three daughters Allison Rae Laakso (Daniel) and his grandchildren Olivia and William of Fort Belvoir, VA; Caroline Grace Pitts of Granger, IN; and Mei Song Pitts of Granger, IN. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Rae Eugenie Brahlek.

Rick grew up in South Bend, IN. He graduated from St. Joseph High School and Indiana University Bloomington.  After college he was a member of the California Street String Band and co-operator of Sunflower Music.

He was a Real Estate Officer in the Department of Redevelopment for the City of South Bend for nearly ten years and was the principal author of the South Bend Downtown Development Plan, 1987–2000.

Rick co-founded McCloskey-Pitts and Associates appraisal company and later R. E. Pitts & Associates, Inc., where he worked as a commercial and industrial appraiser for almost three decades. Rick earned the prestigious MAI Appraisal Institute designation in 1995. He was widely respected throughout the Midwest for his expertise and analyses of complicated properties.

Throughout his career, Rick’s interest in architecture, local history, and industrial design led him to restore antique boats, landmark houses, and Studebaker cars. Some of his many projects included: the “Julie Ann,” a fire engine red 1960 Dorsett Catalina Cruiser, one of the first fiberglass boats styled by Raymond Loewy, was displayed in “The Glass Experience” exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, August 2008; a 1955 Studebaker President, in which he drove his daughters to their proms, wedding, and to get ice cream, won numerous awards at Studebaker Drivers Club International Meets; a 1960 Lark Convertible; the Italian Villa style Chauncey N. Lawton House, 405 W. Wayne St., South Bend, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983; and the Queen Ann style house at 611 S. Carroll Street, South Bend, completed in 1985, received the Outstanding Southold Restoration Award of a Residence and contributed to the revitalization of Monroe Park.

Rick made a deliberate decision to be the best husband and father he could be. He loved bike rides, taking the jet ski to Donnell Lake, teaching the girls how to repair major appliances, sharing tools with the neighbors, Clint Eastwood films, and snorkeling. When the girls were younger, there was never a broken toy that Rick couldn’t fix and when they got older he was always their biggest fan.

Wait for a further announcement about the Memorial Service. Please fill out the Google Form to receive information about the service:

Donations in Rick’s memory can be made to the Center for the Homeless, 813 South Michigan Street, South Bend, IN 46601.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rick E. Pitts, please visit our floral store.


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