Lee Ray Pitman, 69, of Ponderosa Road, Morganton, was called home by his Lord on Sunday, March 22, 2009, at his home following a courageous year and a half battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.He was born December 19, 1939, in Mitchell County, to the late Enlow S. and Lessie Mae Biddix Pitman.Before becoming disabled, he worked for fifteen years for Western Carolina Center. During his retirement, he and his loving wife, Elsie, enjoyed maintaining Triple C Campground in Marion for five years. His great love was coon hunting and had several Grand Nite Champions, including his favorite redbone, Major. Lee Ray also loved his devoted dash hound, Tiger, and his English Shepherd, Ro Ro.He is survived by his wonderful wife of almost 50 years, Elsie Thomas Pitman of the home; one son, Donnie Ray Pittman, and his wife, Ruth Ann, of Abilene, Texas; one daughter, Anita Lynn Pittman, and her fiancé, Dean Campbell, of Statesville; five grandsons, Adam and Austin Pittman of Plano, Texas, Jimmy and Clint Jordan of Statesville and Nicholas Pittman of Abilene, Texas; and one granddaughter, Avery Ruth Pittman, of Abilene, Texas.In addition, Lee Ray was blessed and survived by three brothers, C. L. Pitman and his wife, Peggy, of Black Mountain, Jim Pitman and his wife, April, of Hampton, Tennessee, and Randy Pitman and his wife, Linda, of Minneapolis, NC; three sisters, Jean Pitman of Spruce Pine, Ruth Ann Doane and her husband, Bobby, of Burnsville, and Polly Crowder and her husband, Tony, of Spruce Pine; sisters-in-law, Jean Thomas of Morganton and Peggy Young and her husband, Ted, of Elizabethton, TN and many nephews and nieces.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Avery Penland Pitman; three brothers-in-law, Jesse Pitman of Spruce Pine, Albert Briggs of Burnsville, and Bill Thomas of Morganton and two sisters-in-law, Gay Nell Pitman of Hampton, TN, and Polly Qualls of Oklahoma.Funeral services will be held at 1:00pm, Wednesday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Morganton with Pastors Larry Cline and Rocky Branch, nephew of the deceased, officiating. Burial will immediately follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm, Tuesday at Sossoman Funeral Home.Memorial Contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Road in Valdese NC 28690.

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