This memorial website is created in memory of our loved one,
Keith Warren Pittser
October 30, 1964 - November 24, 2005
From memories and thoughts of family and friends
2011 Seattle AIDS Walk
As I tied Keith's ribbon to the ribbon tree this year at the 2012 AIDS Walk, it made me sad and I shed a few tears. I hope and pray that one day, we will not loose another soul to this disease. I will continue walking until that day happens, to remember and honor my brother and all of the others we have lost along the way.
I love you Keith, you are ALWAYS in my thoughts!
On Thanksgiving Day - 2005 Keith moved on to al better place. We, his family, are asking you on this Thanksgiving Day 2007 to help us by keeping his memory alive.
Please feel free to share with others in Tributes and Condolences. Here are some questions that may help guide you:
- How, where and when did you meet Keith? - What did you learn from him? - What did you teach him? - How did he make you laugh?
- If you had 3 minutes to share with him, what would you say?
Please go to the section marked Tributes & Condolences and share. Keith's family and friends will be visiting this site and your words will help all of us learn more about the many, many ways Keith has impacted each of us.
We thank each and every one of you ... that have visited Keith's Memorial Website. We pray that you will continue to visit his site for him, and all of us that love and miss him, by celebrating his life sharing your thoughts and prayers.
With our sincere love and gratitude, The Pittser Family
In 1997 Keith and Greg adopted Adam Jacob Volk- Pittser, at the age of two months old, who was, is, and always will be the light of their lives.
Keith touched and blessed many lives both as a friend and mentor. Coaching students in theaterical Arts, Production, Set and Stage Design.
We will remember him forever!
"Until It's Over"
Remembrances may be made to the Adam Volk-Pittser Scholarship Fund, in care of Golden One Credit Union, 2450 Geer Road, Turlock 95382; or to a favorite charity.
Keith was born in Baldwin Hills, California on October 30, 1964 and passed away in Turlock CA. on November 24, 2005 at the age of 41.
Keith entered this world weighing 4lbs.4oz., rushing into life, as he was not due until December 15th. He was always motivated to get into the thick of it, this had always been his way throughout his birth and entire life. As a child his amazing creativity had already begun to shine, with his imaginary friend Chris.
Keith, his father Kenneth and mother Ellen, moved to Merced CA. in 1969. The following year he became the big brother to his sister Kimbra, and two years later his brother Klint.
Growing up in Sonora, CA. Keith enjoyed Swimming And Riding Horses. Throughout high school Keith found his love for theater. He became involed in the dramatic arts, although perhaps having a little bit of stage fright, his talents were above par behind the scenes in set design, and production. Spending thousands of hours using his imagination,wit and motivation to make things his very best.
As a member of the International Thespian Society, Keith's talents shined and he loved to share his knowledge with others, this brought many opportunities for Keith. After moving to Turlock CA. in the early 1980's Keith met Greg Volk and became life long companions. Greg was the director of the drama department at Turlock High School, Keith's talents and desire to share is abilities would soon land him a position as Technical Director and Assistant Drama Coach at the school.
His talents were showcased, and appreciated by many including Turlock Toy & Hobby, Walt Disney Stores, Macy's Display Departments, Miss Stanislaus County Scholarship Program, the Turlock High School Drama Department as well as co-founding Murder By Design, a successful murder mystery dinner theater.
Keith also was an very talented photographer. Most of his work was done in"Black and White". Keith agreed that, "Black and White Photography" does more to evoke an emotion and freeze a moment in time than any other medium."
Thank you all who could attend the funeral services, and the many family & friends who have posted on this site, our family will keep you in our prayers.
We appreciate all of the candles that have been lit for Keith. Your prayers and thoughts mean a lot to us. By visiting this site - you help us keep his memory alive. Please be sure and click on the"Memorial Candles"tab at the top of this page to see all of them.
Adam / Greg (Partner)
Ten years and Adam has grown into a tall, handsome, intelligent young man. You would be proud of how well he is doing at UC Merced. We did have the one scare of the boy that went on the stabbing spree, but luckily Adam has no morning classes. It st...
Keith would be proud / Adam &. Greg (Son and Partner )
Keith would be proud. Adam graduated with honors (4.17 GPS) four OUtstanding Achievement medals, got to wear a gold robe which only the top students get to wear, past all his AP tests and was ranked #26 out 489 students.
Now it is off to UC Me...
🌈 Supreme Court ruling! 🌈 / Kim Swift (Sister)
It didn't happen in your lifetime, but it did in mine!!! 🌈👍👍👍🌈
The final paragraph of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on Friday that declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, written by Justice Anth...
Condolences and warmest regards / Greg Keeling (cousin)
Condolences and warmest regards from your Manchester, TN cousins. I only found this website today (of all days!). My grandfather, Malcolm H. Foster, was a brother of Ethel Lorene (Foster) Banks. Sincerely, Greg Keeling
8 years.... / Kim Harder (Sister)
Thanksgiving happen to fall on this very day, 8 years ago. November 24th, 2005. I will always remember that date. It was also the day my brother Keith, listened to.... not watched, due to being to weak to even open his eyes, The Macy's Thanksgiving D...
At the request of Jenny McMenomy, The Galena Players production of Bye Bye Birdie was dedicated to her cousin Keith.
Galena High School is located in Reno, Nevada where Jenny is a senior, and will graduate this year. She played the part of Mrs. MacAfee in the production.
The dates of the performances April 27, 28, 29 and May 4 and 5th, 2006
Printed in the program for this production; "This show is dedicated to the memory of Keith Pittser for a lifetime of Inspiration"
Thank you Jenny! We know that Keith is very proud of you and your contributions to the Drama Department of Galena High School. With your dedication to him through this play, his memory and legacy lives on.
Much Love From, The Pittser Family
Modesto Bee Newspaper artical Published 11-27-05 Turlock High theater set designer, writer, director Pittser dies at 41
By CHRISTINA SALERNO BEE STAFF WRITER Last Updated: November 27, 2005, 08:11:16 AM PST
Keith Warren Pittser, a longtime fixture in the Turlock theater scene, died Thursday at Brandel Manor in Turlock of cancer. He was 41.
Pittser volunteered for nine years as the set designer for the Turlock High School drama department, where he taught students about set production, decoration, lighting and sound.
He helped design three shows that won top recognition at the annual Lenaea Festival, a drama festival and competition in Sacramento, said Greg Volk, Pittser's companion.
He had a strong impact on many of the drama students at the high school, Volk said.
"He enjoyed doing it because he loved to see the spark in their eyes when they learned how to do something new," Volk said. "That was reward enough for him."
Pittser also was the writer and director of "Murder by Design," a murder mystery dinner theater that helped raise money for charities and scholarships, Volk said. The play was performed in Turlock, Modesto and Sacramento to benefit organizations such as the Haven Women's Shelter, as well as students at Turlock and Denair high schools.
Pittser was born in Baldwin Hills on Oct. 30, 1964. He grew up in Southern California, then moved to Merced and Sonora before settling in Turlock in 1981.
He was the retail manager for Turlock Toy and Hobby, the assistant store manager for the Disney Store, and later designed displays and decorations for Macy's in Modesto.
He is survived by Volk of Turlock; son, Adam Volk-Pittser of Turlock; parents, Ken and Ellen Pittser of Turlock; brother, Klint Pittser of Seattle; and sister, Kim Harder of Seattle.
Visitation is from 10 a.m. to 7p.m. Tuesday at Turlock Funeral Home. A funeral will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the chapel, with interment to follow at Turlock Memorial Park.
Remembrances may be made to the Adam Volk-Pittser Scholarship Fund, in care of Golden One Credit Union, 2450 Geer Road, Turlock 95382; or to a favorite charity.
Michele VanNieuwenhuyzen's Eulogy at Funeral Service for Keith
November 30, 2005
Eulogy for my friend...
I can't tell you when I first met Keith..I can only tell you I always remember being his friend. When Greg first asked me to speak today, I was honored, humbled, and to be honest, a bit overwhelmed. I'm not a hold it together type of person in these situations. I'm a heart worn on my sleeve kind of girl. I'm not sure that I'll be able to stand up here and tell you all that I want to say about my friend because my heart hurts at the thought that I'll be without him..I was thinking about all that I had to say about the person Keith was, the times we shared together and the friend I knew, but I was also thinking..what am I going to wear, is my make up going to be right, is the lighting going to be postitioned correctly, will the microphone be turned up..all of these things went through my head because I knew Keith would not want it any other way..than perfect. Any of you who were priveleged enought to work with him, know exactly what I'm talking about. He was into all of the details. I hope I can complement him by making sure all of the details are just right as I talk to you about my dear friend.
When I sat down to write this out, a flood of memories came to the surface. I didn't know how I could clearly convey how special Keith was..I wanted you to know Keith the way I knew him..I wanted you to see the funny, creative, charismatic, emotional and very special person he was. I didn't know how I was going to give you a glimpse into his life and who he was, but then I realized..you are all here because you knew that special side of him. You knew the person who worked tirelessly on a bare stage to turn it into something magical and perfect before show time. You knew the person who took on more than he should have when he was sick because he loved to see the final out come of his work. You knew the person who got himself into trouble because he talked too much..he was passionate about what he believed in. You knew the person who devoted so much of his time to working with the students at Turlock High because he wanted so badly for them to succeed. You knew the person who made you feel special in some way, that's why you are here today.
Now let me share just a few of the things I'll miss about Keith..I'll miss his smile. He always had a smile when we saw eachother. I'll miss his laughter. I hope I will always be able to remember his laugh..it is one of the things I loved most about him. I 'll miss the rolling of the eyes when he didn't agree with something. I'll miss saying Greg and Keith because those two names just go together in my vocabulary. I'll miss his talking with his hands..sometimes those hands said more than you wanted them to. I will miss drinking coffee with him. I'll miss hearing about how he found the perfect music, set piece or costume that was going to make the next show. I'll miss his enthusiasm over a job well done. I'll miss the pitch in his voice when he got excited about things. I'll miss his over the top ideas and budget busting plans. I'll miss saying, "You're going to do what?" when he had a brain storm. I'll miss his warm eyes..It's the little things I'll miss the most.
I know I'm not the only one who will miss those things. I know the students whose lives he touched will miss so much about him as well. About 10 years ago I was working with Greg and Keith on a show called Jack. The show dealt with some very heavy issues and in true Keith fashion, he was able to share a big piece of himself with the entire cast and educated them. I remember thinking how brave he was to put himself out there and be so vulnerable. He gave of himself without thought as to how it would affect him, just knowing that it could do good along the way. He was always trying to get the most out of those he worked with. He tackled tough subjects. He wanted students to see that they could leave an impression with their work. He wanted them to learn, to improve, to see what hard work could do for them. He had high expectations of those around him and in doing so, he allowed students to achieve so much. He believed in them. I'm sure those of you who worked with him remember a time when he pushed you to be better or do more..maybe at the time you were angry and didn't understand why. I hope today you can understand it was because he cared so deeply for you all.
Keith always told people we were like brother and sister because we could fight just like that. We were both strong willed. But if we disagreed, neither of us could handle it very well. We were both upset at the thought that we had hurt eachother in some way. Keith was the type of friend that you could go months without talking to and when you finally got in touch again, it was like no time passed at all. In fact, I am happy to say that last year after not being in contact for a little while, Keith called me and we fell right back into our comfortable friendship. I'm so thankful he did call, that we were able to make more memories and work together one last time. I'm thinking about the void I'll feel when I work on a show this year and don't have Keith to help out with all of the details..I have depended on his ideas, his determination, and his vision on so many things. I'm so thankful to have had a friend like Keith. Someone who made me laugh, think, challenge myself, and always believe that I could do more.
When I visited him last week, as he lay in his hospital bed, he was still thinking of others..when Adam and Greg came into the room, he asked for ice cream, not for himself, but for Adam, knowing that was some small getsture he could give. He had little strength, but he still was able to reach for me to try and give a hug and greeted me by telling me it was good to see me..just as he did every time we saw eachother. He always made me feel like that, like seeing me was a special occasion. What a gift to give a friend. I don't think he ever knew how something like that could leave such a lasting impression. I only hope that I returned the gift as well..
I want you to remember our friend as I will..full of life, laughing, reaching out to give you a hug, smiling, and finally at peace. And now, on this special occasion, as we pay tribute to Keith..I also want you to pay tribute in a very out of the ordinary way..our final gift to a partner, father, son, brother, uncle and dear friend...Will you please stand and give Keith his final well deserved, standing ovation. He will be missed..
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This classicial murder mystery performed by The Turlock High School Drama Department, November 10 - November 19, 2005 was the final production Keith contributed to. The following dedication was published in the program for the play, The Turlock High School Clarion newspaper and was featured in The Turlock Journal.
"The cast and crew would like to dedicate this production to Keith Pittser. Keith put in hundreds of hours of his own time to help make Turlock High School's productions top notch. His experience in set design, and all technical areas of the theater made our shows stand out above others. He loved working and teaching young people, and seeing their eyes light up when they discovered something new. Many people miss him being around, both as a teacher and as a friend."
The Pittser Family would like to thank the staff, and students of Turlock High School for this special dedication.
Murder By Design
In 1993, because of drastic budget cuts in education, the Turlock High School Drama Department had to become self-supporting. Murder by Design was created as a means of raising badly needed funds for the Theater Arts Program, while providing theatrical experience for its students. In an effort to unite students with the community, many adults were incorporated intoMurder by DesignProductions. This effort provided students and adults an educational opportunity to work with and learn from individuals that could share life experiences.
Murder by Designwas unique as all of its productions were original scripts written and designed by co-founder Keith Pittser. This allowed for each character to be tailored to the actor, and each production to be tailored to the origanization it was written for. The productions were designed so that the audience became detectives for the evening. This way everyone in attendance took an active role in the event. A great deal of of preparation was required for this type of production, but by taking the time he could add a personal touch that other similiar groups could not.
The actors below were part of the cast from one of the first productions of Murder by Design.