William Percy Pittard, 94, of Battle Creek, MI passed away on October 14, 2021 at Marshall Nursing and Rehabilitation after a brief illness. William, who liked to be called Bill, was born on April 29, 1927 in Petoskey, MI to Percy Pittard and Bernice Sheleski.
When he was 17, he had his father sign papers so he could serve in the military during WWII. He served in the Navy Amphibious Corps from 1944 until 1946 aboard LST 828 L.S.M.R. 407 in the South Pacific Theatre as a member of the first Japanese Occupational Forces. During his service, he was awarded the Purple Heart among other medals. After an honorable discharge, he moved to Battle Creek where he was employed by Grand Trunk Railroad as a steamfitter. From there, he became employed for 32 years at the Battle Creek Gas Company working service, installation, and supply in addition to being a Union Steward for several years. He retired in 1988.
In 1949, he married Mary Bankhead after a whirlwind courtship. Mary predeceased him in 2008. He had one child, Pat Pittard (Thomas Piepkow) of Battle Creek and was preceded in death by a sister Marie Roche of San Jose, CA.
He was a past member of VFW 565 and American Legion Post 54 and a 25 year member of the Battle Creek Gas Company Club. For several years, he was an active member of the U.S. LST Association. Bill loved driving fast sport cars. In past years, he owned a Corvair Corsa and at age 90 could be seen driving a red convertible Chrysler Crossfire.
Bill loved fishing and would travel to Traverse City to perch fish. In his early years, he’d fish with his grandfather on the Lulu H commercial fishing boat. He also loved his dogs over the years. In the past several years, his passion was collecting watches both wrist and pocket. He also enjoyed repairing them.
There will be no services at this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Labre Indian School (www.stlabre.org), Southwest Indian Foundation (www.southwestindian.com) or Humane Society of South Central (www.hsscm.com). Leave a personal; message for the family and sign the online guestbook at https://www.kempfuneralhome.com Arrangements are entrusted to the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 2838 Capital Avenue SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015.
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