Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2023 Blog #3
January 16, 2023
One Hundred Five Years of Christian Living
Dr. Irving Pitman
I attended the funeral for a beloved Christian man on Saturday. He was 105 years old at the time of his death in November. For years he was a faithful member of the congregation that I serve but several years ago he and his wife moved to Suffolk County to live with his son and daughter in law. The last house that he lived in was the house that he went to as a little boy for summer vacations.
Dr. Irving Pitman was one of the true Christian Gentlemen that I have met in my life. He was an elder in three different churches, two Reformed Churches and one Presbyterian and he served on the chaplaincy board of a local hospital. I was sad and I missed him when he moved from our church out to Long Island several years ago.
I didn’t speak at his funeral. The minister of the Presbyterian church in Long Island conducted the service but a number of people rose to give remembrances of “Doc” Pitman. The stories were all similar: Irv’s love for Jesus was apparent, he made friends quickly, and he never defined himself as “old.” When others were telling him that he could not do something, he would do it anyway. Some people exist. Irving “Doc” Pitman lived and lived every day that life gave him.
I do not know why Irv was such a wonderful person. I don’t know if his devotion, energy and love of life was a genetic gift he had, or the way that he was raised. I don’t know if God gave him an extra amount of Spirit. Somehow, Irving was an extraordinary Christian who did good wherever he went. He had only lived in Long Island for several years, but his neighbors there, showered him with praise as though they had known him for a long time.
I write this blog as a tribute to Doctor Irving Pitman, my role model for Christian living. I hope that someday I might begin to live as good a life as he did. Most folks who live lives this long have small funeral; most of their friends have already died. Irving continued to live a Christian life, and engaged people each day of his 105 year life. If we wish to be remembered so well, let us begin a Christian life in imitation of Irving’s life.