Special Collections and Archives staff learned this morning that a dear friend and volunteer, Colonel Wayne Pittman, passed away on Thursday, October 1.
Wayne and his wife, Karen, have been volunteering here in the archives for many years. Wayne was instrumental in starting the WSU-hosted Huffman Prairie Aviation Historical Society over 25 years ago. Karen previously served on the Friends of the Libraries Board for the Wright State University Libraries. They were a team, extremely active in the aviation community in Dayton, passionately promoting the history and heritage of aviation in the Miami Valley.
Wayne and Karen retired to Dayton, Ohio, in 1989 following 34 years of service in The United States Air Force. He was in the first graduating class of The United States Air Force Academy. During their years in Dayton, they became involved in many aviation activities including volunteering with the Wright B Flyer Association, The National Museum of The United States Air Force, Wright State University Special Collections and Archives, Aviation Trail, 2003 Committee, and the Archives at Carillon Park.
While Wayne was at The National Museum of The United States Air Force, he was involved in the first WWI Fly-in. Wayne was the founder of the B-52 Stratofortress Association. Wayne shared his knowledge of aviation with students in my WSU Honors Seminar on Dayton’s Aviation Heritage each spring. He enthusiastically led the class on tours of the National Museum of the USAF, sharing his stories and extensive knowledge of aviation and the role Dayton played in it.
We appreciate so much the work that our volunteers do for us. Even more, we value their friendship. Wayne will be missed by us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karen.
A gathering will be held at Newcomer Funeral Home, Beavercreek Chapel, on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 4:00pm-5:00pm with a memorial service at 5:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Dayton.