Here is a stunning revelation: In the first three months of 2005, Columbia County has lost three important public figures:
- In January, former school superintendent Charles Allen Sr. passed away at age 83;
- In February, former county commissioner Vince Robertson died at age 80; and,
- And in March, former county commissioner U.H. Pittman died at age 77.
The loss of these great men has been a staggering blow to Columbia County, and it's a sad note for our nation: All three served honorably in World War II, part of the Greatest Generation that is steadily vanishing.
After defending his country as a sailor, Pittman married and with his wife, Marian, for the next 55 years built a family.
U.H. Pittman also helped build the community. In addition to active roles in charitable organizations such as the Easter Seals and the American Cancer Society, Pittman helped create the Martinez Fire Department that now protects most of Columbia County.
Pittman entered the political arena three decades ago, and served just a single term as a county commissioner. But his influence reached far outside his own time in office, as demonstrated by the number of elected officials and public figures who counted him as a political adviser.
Above all, Pittman was a man of faith -- faith that his death would signal the beginning of his eternal life, and faith in the power of his fellow man to do right while in this life. "He was a man's man, and his word was his bond," says former state Rep. Bill Jackson, who spoke glowingly of his friend at the March 29 funeral.
Along with Allen and Robertson, Pittman's legacy will long outlive his time here among us. Their lesson is that the world is far bigger than any single person, and that those who leave the most behind aren't those who have the most, but instead are those who do the most for their fellow man.
By that measure we've all received a rich inheritance, thanks to the unselfish service of U.H. Pittman. May he rest in peace.
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