A tribute to John Pitcher

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One of the few remaining men of “The Greatest Generation” has gone to his final reward and leaves a void in the Hillsville‑Galax community. We have lost an outstanding citizen.
John K. Pitcher died at his home on Gladesboro Road on Jan. 19.
A veteran of World War II, he served in the 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army for three years and saw active duty in Germany.
He was a Master Gardener and grew flowers and a variety of trees which he donated to beautify the Hillsville‑Galax area. The fruits of his efforts may be seen in many places here.
Jack was author of Skywatch, which appeared in newspapers across the country, including The Gazette and Carroll News.
This instructive column was a guide to the stars and the moon and enlightened many. He taught astronomy to all ages in local schools and colleges and he particularly wanted to engage young people at an early age, as he felt it would lead to an interest in math and science, which interest is sorely missing today.
His volunteer work with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Power Squadron was just another way of contributing to the community.
He never stopped learning, studying, and teaching and as an active scholar he believed one was never too old to learn. At age 87, he would have been the oldest student ever in a class he had recently enrolled in at a local college.
But he never made that class that he was so looking forward to, as he passed away just three days before its start.
The community is a better, more beautiful place for his having been here. His family and many friends will miss the warm smile and always cheerful greeting.
As a friend recently commented “he never stopped living life…”
What a true and wonderful tribute.
Job well done, Jack. Carry on, and thank you.
Marilyn Cleveland
Melbourne Beach, Fla.