Letter: Pitman offers integrity, loyalty, compassion

From: Mike Brian

Oro Valley, Arizona

Voters in Indiana House District 59 have a chance to set a new, more positive course for political dialogue by electing Bob Pitman as their representative. He believes all sides deserve to be heard, and if we set aside ideology we can find common ground in areas such as education, tax reform, infrastructure investment, and in-home and community-based funding.

Bob and I have been close friends for 46 years; I met him in an African politics class at Indiana University in 1970. Our careers took us to different parts of the state and eventually the country, but we have stayed connected and remain good friends despite the miles and the years. I cherish his good humor, good nature, capacity for caring and depth of character.

Bob has dedicated his life to helping people, especially the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable. For instance, shortly after graduation, he volunteered for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Africa, teaching language skills to the people of Niger. It was a difficult assignment, but he never gave up and never gave in. He had made a commitment, he said, and his integrity demanded he complete his obligation.

Since then, he has worked diligently in the community for nearly 30 years serving seniors. He guided the senior center, then demonstrated vision and focus as he guided the years-long fundraising and development of his legacy project, Mill Race Center, where he served as executive director until his retirement last year.

Bob’s passion for helping people was recognized after he retired: the Pitman Institute for Aging Well — a community resource that continues to provide opportunities to better understand and embrace the aging process — was established in his honor.

His intelligence, compassion, integrity and loyalty would make it possible for him to serve his constituents with the thoughtfulness and grace they deserve.

For nearly five decades, he and I have shared both good times and bad. I value his counsel and am extraordinarily fortunate to count Bob Pitman as one of my dearest friends.