This fund provides scholarships for high school seniors graduating from West Aurora High School.
Students who are able to demonstrate a strong commitment to succeed in spite of personal obstacles will be eligible for these awards.
The awards shall be named “The Pittman Grit and Perseverance Awards.”
James D. “Jim” Pittman passed away December 2, 2012 after waging a heroic battle with cancer.
Mr. Pittman was born on June 5, 1930 in Aurora, the son of the late Herman and Ellen (Roots) Pittman.
He attended Bardwell Elementary School, Immanuel Grade School and East Aurora High School. He earned letters in track and football while at East High.
Mr. Pittman then attended Indiana State University and later transferred to Aurora College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. He spent two years in the U.S. Army at Ft. Sill, OK.
Upon returning to Aurora, he began teaching at Benjamin Franklin Junior High. His motto in teaching was, “Don’t smile until after the first month of school,” which undoubtedly earned him the title of “Sarge.”
After teaching at Franklin Junior High, he moved to West Aurora High School, where he taught Biology for thirty-four years.
He coached golf for several years, taking the team downstate several times. He also coached sophomore basketball for many years.
During his teaching career he gained a master’s degree in education at the University of Illinois. He also earned thirty hours beyond a master’s degree from his studies at Yale, Lawrence and Toledo Universities.
For several years, Mr. Pittman was part owner of the video store, “Images on Video,” in Aurora. He also sold real estate with McEnroe Real Estate of Aurora for many years.
He retired in 1992 and entered the “golden years” of retirement. He then “worked” part time as a starter and marshal at Orchard Valley Golf Course for twenty years. He also volunteered as a “Helping Hand” at Dreyer Medical Clinic.
He was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Golden Kiwanis and the National Education Association.
His special delights were his family and his love of travel. The highlight of his travels was playing golf at the old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
He and his wife, Doris, have four children.