Philip Pitney

Obituary of Philip Pitney

Philip H. Pitney passed away from an illness complicated by chronic lyme disease on March 23, 2018 at Morristown Memorial Hospital. 84 years ago, and a half a mile away, he was born in the original Morristown hospital.

He chose to spend most of his life in this area residing in Morristown, Basking Ridge and Bernardsville with a great love and respect for the rich history and beauty of these parts.

Philip was the son of the late Mahlon Pitney, a well-known lawyer, and Margaret Cooley Wilson, a loving mother; and he was the brother of the late Mahlon and Peyton Pitney. His grandfather, Mahlon R. Pitney III, was a US Supreme Court Justice. Philip’s cousin Duncan Pitney owned Pitney Farm in Mendham, which has been in his family since 1760.

He graduated from Peck School and then continued on at Exeter Academy where his love of playing baseball began. Later, while at Kenyon College with his older brother Peyton, he dominated the baseball team. After graduating, Philip found another love, the Air Force. Always proud of his service and his flying career, he never stopped looking into the sky, identifying any plane that flew over head.

His career centered around banking. He started at Irving Trust, worked at Union Carbide, and spent 20 fulfilling years with the Bank of New York. He was well known and well respected, with a strong reputation for helping others and being a man of integrity.

He leaves his wife Barbara, who filled his pre and post retirement lovingly with travel and adventure. His children meant the world to him: Douglas Pitney and his wife Linda; Edward Pitney; and Elizabeth Pitney as well as his step-daughters Kirsten Sibilia and her husband Patrick; and Keely Loveys and her husband Ralph. His grandchildren added a wonderful dimension from music to soccer, basketball, baseball and golf and this included many a fun dinner out or on the patio at home in Bernardsville. Jasper, John, Django, Wyatt, Chloe and Braydon kept his world in motion.

Philip volunteered at the Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville. There he cared for the beautiful gardens which are overseen by the New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation in cooperation with the National Park Service. His green thumb and keen interest soon found him on the Board. He also served for many years on the Bernardsville Historic Preservation Committee and had a short career on the Board of Adjustment.

Self-appointed as the Pitney Family genealogist, he spent years proudly researching and documenting generations of lineage since the 1600s when his family came to New Jersey. For ten generations the family lived at Pitney Farm in Mendham. Far-reaching in impact, the Pitney legacy can be found from Atlantic City (founded by Dr. J. Pitney) to the halls of the Trenton State House, the Supreme Court in Washington DC to the Morris Aqueduct Company, and from the Winchester Gardens to the Pitney Hardin law firm just to name a few. Philip spent hours investigating and gathered the historical records and interesting and inspiring stories together for his family members. Offspring continue to make their mark around the USA.

In the late spring a Memorial Service will be held.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations in Philip Pitney’s name are given to: Cross Estate Gardens (New Jersey Historic Garden Foundation), Bernardsville, NJ; Macculloch Hall, Morristown, NJ; Home Sweet Home Animal Rescue, Denville. NJ; or the First Aid Squad of Bernardsville, NJ.

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