When James Pittman's children were growing up, the family took trips to Florida to visit his parents and enjoyed camping at Bass Lake, wife Ida Mae Pittman said.
“He would mow the grass on his tractor with his kids on lap,” she said. “He would take them to the store and buy things. He was a pushover.”
At Bass Lake, Pittman took his children boating and taught them to water ski.
Pittman, 82, of Crown Point, also enjoyed spending quality time with his grandchildren.
“His hobbies were his grandkids,” Ida Pittman said. “He played ball with them. He had a three-wheel bike with a basket and he rode with them in the basket. He was all about the grandkids and would take them with him whenever he could.”
Pittman was a U.S. Marine, serving on the front line infantry during the Korean War. He was a member of Merrillville Legion Post 430.
A former deacon and member of First Presbyterian Church of Crown Point, Pittman’s faith was important to him, his wife said.
Pittman worked 38 years as a roller at North Sheet Mill, Gary Sheet & Tin Mill at U.S. Steel.
The couple were married for 48 years. They met at the Crown Point Fireman’s Ball after her brother-in-law, with whom she was supposed to go, had to work.
Ida Mae was not pleased with how the date went and told her sister she would not go out with Pittman again. She turned him down when he asked her to a VFW dance because she had a baby-sitting commitment. However, her sister invited Pittman to Ida Mae’s birthday party and they started dating after that, she said.
Pittman was outgoing and had many friends, she said.
“I will miss his smiling face, his kindness and knowing he was there for us if we needed him,” Ida Mae Pittman said.