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William Wesley "Whitey" Pitts
Birth: Nov. 8, 1895
Kaufman County
Texas, USA
Death: Sep. 23, 1951
St. Clair County
Missouri, USA

First marriage: Laura Elmer Seay 1920
To this union 3 children were born:

Charles Wesley b. 15 Dec 1920 d. 13 May 1944
James Marion b. 22 Sept 1922 d. 05 Jan 1994
Kathelyn Berniece b. 22 June 1924 d. 15 Feb 2015

Second marriage: Hattie Ellen Shippy Ward
Married Dallas, Tx. 1948
To this union 2 children were born:

Wanda Lynn (aka Wanda Lynn Hawk)
b. 11 Feb 1949
Victoria Anne (aka Nancy Jean Wallace)
b. 31 Jan 1951
Both were given up for adoption 4 days after birth.

Wesley was the oldest of 8 children born to Charles Christopher & Mollie Cooper Pitts.
His siblings were as follows in birth order:

Lottie b. 15 Apr 1897 Terrell, Tx. d. 12 hrs. after birth

Nellie Lucille b. 24 May 1898 Terrell, Tx. d. 03 July 1997

Hazel Irene b. 8 Sept 1900 Wylie, Tx. d. 31 May 1995

Mattie Ruth b. 11 July 1902 Wylie, Tx. d. 6 Aug 1903

John Butler b. 15 May 1904 Wylie, Tx. d. 27 June 1971

Eulala b. 28 June 1906 Wylie, Tx. d. 22 Jan 1977

Retta b.19 July 1908 Wylie, Tx. d. 1993

Soon after WWI began, Wesley enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Wesley's Company was sent to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to help protect the populace there from marauding bandits.
One evening his Company stopped in a forest at a grass shack and prepared to spend the night. They soon found themselves surrounded and under attack. Being unable to defend themselves, as they had left their ammunition on pack mules some one hundred feet away.
Wesley on his own volition ran and retrieved the ammunition and returned. They were then able to defend themselves and overcome the attack. For his act of heroism, he was commended for saving the lives of his fellow marines and given a written commendation from the Major General Commandant and a copy of that was placed in the official record.

After returning from military service, he married Laura Elmer Seay in 1920. They had 3 children, Charles, James and Kathelyn. At that time they were living in Copeville, Texas and Wesley owned a telephone exchange and Laura operated the switchboard.

In the mid 1920's, Wesley had developed type 1 diabetes and they had the best care at the veteran's hospital in Leavenworth. Insulin was newly discovered and he was able to receive it there. So Wesley, Laura and their 3 children moved to Leavenworth and established their home there. Wesley had a variety of different occupations, gambling being one of them. He also owned a taxi cab company in Leavenworth in the 1930's and early 1940's.
He was always known as a gambler, thus obtaining the nickname Whitey. He was well known in backroom card games for most of his adult life in Leavenworth and throughout the Midwest.

After their son Charles was killed in a flight accident during World War II, a few years later Wesley and Laura divorced. He then bought a small concession trailer and began traveling with a carnival.
While in Dallas, Texas (the area he was originally from) he met Hattie Ellen Shippy Ward, a divorcee with 2 children, Tom and Bernita Kay. They married and were later in Joplin, Missouri when a daughter was born in 1949, because of his age (53), the decision was made to give that child up for adoption. Two years later, in January 1951, another daughter was born and the same decision was made to give that child up also. He was 55 yrs. old. While living in Joplin, Missouri, he again owned a couple of taxi cabs, that he and Hattie both operated in Joplin.
In September of 1951, they were in Osceola, Missouri with their concession trailer. He passed away of a heart attack in the night.
He was taken back home to Dallas, Texas by train, accompanied by his wife Hattie, for burial. He is buried next to his first son Charles.


Paper: Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX)
Wednesday, September 26, 1951
Section: Part I - Page: 6


GARLAND, Texas, Sept.25.- Funeral services will be held for William Wesley Pitts, 55, Joplin, MO., at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church, Garland, with the Rev. Charles L. Cockrell officiating.
Burial will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park.
Pitts, who died in Osceola, MO., last Sunday after a long illness, was born in Wylie, Texas, Nov 8, [sic] 1895. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Pitts, Garland.
He served three years overseas in the Marine Corps during World War I and received a letter of commendation for meritorious service.
Surviving are his parents; his wife; a son, James M. Pitts, Casper WY.; a daughter, Mrs. Kathelyn Matzeder, Leavenworth, KS.; four sisters, Mrs. L. B. Gordon, Mrs. Jack E. Anderson, Mrs. Eulala Bethel, Mrs. R. L. Edwards, all of Dallas, and one brother, John B. Pitts, Houston.
Pallbearers are Bailey Gordon, Jr., James C. Bethel, Jr. Jack Anderson, Jr., R. L. Edwards, Fred Calloway and Russell Morris.
Obit above sent courtesy of Mindy
Family links: 
  Charles Christopher Pitts (1875 - 1959)
  Mollie Cooper Pitts (1880 - 1967)
  Laura Elmer Seay Pitts (1900 - 1983)
  Hattie Ellen Shippy Hamilton (1924 - 2015)*
  Charles Wesley Pitts (1920 - 1944)*
  James Marion Pitts (1922 - 1994)*
  Kathelyn Berniece Pitts Matzeder (1924 - 2015)*
  William Wesley Pitts (1895 - 1951)
  Nellie Lucille Pitts Gordon (1898 - 1997)*
  Hazel Irene Pitts Anderson (1900 - 1995)*
  Mattie Ruth Pitts (1902 - 1903)*
  John Butler Pitts (1904 - 1971)*
  Nannie Eulala Pitts Bethel (1906 - 1977)*
  Retta Pitts Butts (1908 - 1998)*
*Calculated relationship


Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Created by: NJBrewer
Record added: Mar 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34559385
William Wesley Whitey Pitts
Added by: NJBrewer
William Wesley Whitey Pitts
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William Wesley Whitey Pitts
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 Added: Apr. 24, 2015

- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Mar. 4, 2015
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