Elizabeth Jane Pitman

Date of Birth

November 5, 1920

Date of Death

December 22, 2008

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Born on September 5, 1920 in Santa Barbara to Genevieve Whalen Pitman and Richard Hickman Pitman, Elizabeth (Betty) Jane Pitman passed away at the age of 89 at Mission Terrace. One of four children, she was preceded in death by her two brothers Richard Whalen Pitman and John Ward Pitman. She is survived by her sister Mary Ann, Mrs. Paul Anthony Greene, her sister in-law Harriet Anne, Mrs. John Pitman and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. Betty earned her teaching credentials from Santa Barbara Teachers College (later UCSB) and a master’s degree from San Francisco State University.

Betty first taught kindergarten at Montecito Union School. From there she taught for 42 years at Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California. Betty was a beloved, highly respected kindergarten teacher and many times taught the children of her former students; she took great pride in this. A dedicated Naturalist, she often collected everything from bird’s nests to wildflowers that she would “share with the class.” She was very active in the Catholic Church and volunteered for many years for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Upon her retirement she was recognized by the State of California Senate Rules Committee for her exemplary record in the field of education and outstanding record of civic accomplishments.

Betty retired in 1986 to live in Santa Barbara where she enjoyed her home, her garden, her family and friends. She loved music and became an accomplished pianist having been the first woman to play the organ at the Old Mission Santa Barbara. She continued her religious devotion by volunteering at the Mission.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Memorial rosary will be held on January 21 at Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel at 7:00 pm. Memorial Mass will be held on January 22nd at St. Barbara Parish Church (Old Mission) at 10:00 am with internment to follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Old Mission or to Maryknoll. Betty’s special request is “No tears, be happy. I’ll be with God.”


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