Peaceful 09

Franklin Pittman

August 3, 1952 ~ June 5, 2022 (age 69)


Franklin Pittman gained his wings on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at the age 69 after a heroic battle with cancer. He was born August 3, 1952 in Portland, Oregon to Lucille Garner and Leroy Pittman Sr and was the youngest of six siblings. His family roots are based in MeRouge, LA but his family relocated  to Portland, OR in 1949 in search of better work opportunities. His father found work on the railroad and his mother in laundry services.  Franklin’s parents passed away when he was only 14 years old, and  he spent his teenage years living  with his sister Helen Pittman and nephew Floyd Pittman who watched over him until he graduated from high school. Franklin attended Abernathy grade school, graduated from Washington high school and he went on to continue his studies at Portland Community College. He spent his earlier years playing  and coaching baseball but also enjoyed challenging family and friends in a serious game of dominoes or chess.  He was an exceptional dancer who had an eclectic taste in music and a writer who loved poetry. You would often see him wearing headphones and dancing to the rhythmic styles of Sade, Keith Sweat, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations to name a few along with many other artists.  He enjoyed writing poetry/lyrics and exploring the literary work of his favorite poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

Franklin was a charismatic man just like his older brothers and was always surrounded by many friends. He enjoyed life to the fullest and stayed in good spirits always projecting a huge smile on his face. He met his wife Debbie and together they had a daughter, Luwanda Pittman. He was a devoted father, uncle and grandfather that loved his biological and stepchildren deeply doing what was in his means to support them and impart to them positive words of wisdom.

Franklin had an arsenal of talents that he used to entertain family and friends and to spread love and happiness to all.   He was a coach, construction worker , roofer, creative and a master fisherman that also had a passion for rescuing animals in the community. Franklin’s talents extended outside of sports and construction as he was also a skilled gardener and known for his ability to visualize and execute beautiful landscaping designs.

Franklin was an exceptional athlete just like his brothers. He was skilled at coaching, playing baseball and softball. He spent his early years as a little league coach and lead his teams to multiple championships collecting several trophies that reflected his exceptional coaching skills. Although he supported his brothers in their athletic achievements in baseball, basketball and wresting, he was also extremely athletic and a talented coach in his own right.   During the summer months he would invite his grandnephew Marcus Spencer to stay with him to offer one on one coaching and to run baseball drills to sharpen his skills and prepare him for upcoming baseball seasons.  He took his role as Uncle seriously and used that time to bond with his nephew sharing life lessons and skills on how to better navigate daily life challenges as an adult.   Franklin was a celebrity to his nieces and nephews as well as to the kids in the neighborhood especially around Christmas when he would dress up as Santa Clause to hand out presents. He was also recognized in an Oregonian article for his smooth dance moves as the “Dancing Santa Clause Flagger”.  He was highlighted for helping to keep traffic moving during a major construction project in Portland by dancing, waving and smiling to commuters and spreading joy in the community by just being himself.  He also could be found cheering on his favorite sports teams the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Cowboys. 

Franklin was a devoted pet parent and developed special bonds with the various pets he owned over the years including his parakeet birds “Poonie” and “Ariamiss” and  dogs “Cleo”, “Rex” and “Stormy”. They were his closest companions, and you would be hard pressed to find a time where you encountered Franklin without his beloved Pitbulls at his side.  He relied on his pets for emotional support and protection, and he would do anything to be with them including traveling thousands of miles against doctor’s orders to be reunited with his Pitbull companion “Stormy”.

Franklin was resilient in his fight to battle cancer and never let his diagnosis slow him down or interfere with his time spent with friends and family. He managed to use humor to distract himself and others from the battles he was facing after his diagnosis.  He always showed up to family events full of joy and ready to share entertaining stories and memories that lit up the room with happiness. He had a strong will about him and surpassed medical guideline expectations multiply times which is a testament to how much power he possessed and the conviction he had to persevere and control his own destiny. He channeled his reserve energy into focusing on his wellness and sought out ways to cope and heal himself to extend his time to create additional memories with family and friends.  He sought healing in nontraditional ways ignoring the criticisms of many and was steadfast in living life his way regardless of naysayer opinions. It was his life journey to live as he saw fit, and he did just that.  He was fearless in his approach to life and lived  unapologetically as only he knew the battles he was facing on his journey to wellness. 

If you had the pleasure of spending some quality time with him over the years you would have experience how gifted he was beyond measure, a loyal friend, and an all-around compassionate person.  All of this considered his greatest trait and achievement was his love, support and adoration for his family, friends and pets. He was a son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend to so many more. He leaves with us a lifetime of memories and crazy moments filled with comedy and belly aching laughter.  Franklin will be remembered for his fun-loving spirit, infectious smile and love for animals. 

Franklin was preceded in his passing by his parents, Lucile and Leroy Pittman Sr., by his sisters, Eleanor Pittman and Edna Pittman, and brother Leroy  Pittman and by his wife “Debbie” (Blalock) Pittman. 

Franklin leaves to morn him his siblings Roy Pittman and Helen Pittman, and his children, Luwanda Pittman,  stepsons Joseph Lasene (Melinda Lasene) and Edmund “Dupree” Lewis;  granddaughter Aliyah, 2 step grandchildren ,  grandnephew Marcus Spencer and a host of other nephews, nieces and many other relatives and friends that loved him dearly.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Franklin Pittman, please visit our floral store.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Franklin

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 Service Program


June 21, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

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