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Sad news for Virginia sports journalists

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mystery_Meat, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Longtime P-I sports editor, Dave Pittman, remembered for dedication to Tri-Cities

    CHESTERFIELD — David Rudolf Pittman, 57, a former sports editor for The Progress-Index, died Thursday.

    Before working for The Progress-Index for over 25 years, Pittman served in the U.S. Air Force, where he specialized in communications.

    Pittman, who was born in Washington, spent much of his career in the Tri-Cities covering local high school and college sports.

    “He was a good man, a good reporter,” said Bill Littlepage, Hopewell boy’s basketball coach for over 40 years. “He certainly did an excellent job. He covered the Tri-Cities area teams extremely well. He took pride in what he did and he did it well.”

    Dwight Reagan, former football coach for Sussex Central High School, recalled that Pittman would take the time to cover Sussex sports events when most newspapers would not. Typically, Sussex is outside of the coverage area of regional newspapers, Reagan said.

    “Dave would always take the time to come on down,” Reagan said. “We were very, very pleased to have him do that. He did a superb job in covering Sussex County.”

    Pat Sharpf, city editor for The Progress-Index, remembered the dedication Pittman had in all he covered.

    “He was a valuable member of our newsroom family for more than 25 years,” Sharpf said. “Dave was a very talented journalist. In addition to sports, he would help cover local news. He could do it all. He pursued the truth like a bulldog and didn’t mind stepping on toes. He cared passionately about our First Amendment rights.”

    John Medeiros, who was also a former sports editor at The Progress-Index, said that Pittman guided him through much of his early career and Pittman’s dedication set an example.

    “He taught me more things than anyone else has,” Medeiros said. “I always find it interesting when you meet our guys who made it, and they remember Dave. That says something for not being at USA Today or Sports Illustrated. He cared about the Tri-Cities. He was a journalist who could have worked anywhere.”

    With Pittman’s death, Sharpf said Tri-City residents have lost a strong advocate.

    “He worked very hard to ensure the public was well informed and I feel the Tri-Cities community has lost a strong voice for truth and fairness,” she said. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Dave’s family.”

    A memorial service for Pittman will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Petersburg Chapel of J.T. Morriss and Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 103 S. Adams St.

    Pittman is survived by his daughter, Dr. Kimberly Cole, and her husband, Shawn Hemsley; a son, Walter Bryan Pittman; two grandchildren, Serena Gail Pittman and Ava Rose Hemsley; a brother, Carl Pittman; two nieces, Tracy, Melanie; and close friend and caregiver, Margaret Turner.

    • T. DeVon Robinson may be reached at 722-5160 or at trobinson@progress-index.com.


    I never worked for him, but know plenty who have. My encounters with him were generally pleasant, though he had a well-deserved reputation for being hardline. A good man with a good heart for sportswriting (I believe he was doing work for a weekly in the area at the time of his passing), and the newspaper business in Virginia will be worse for his absence.
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