The Duncan Banner

April 10, 2014

Bernice Irene Beck Pitts

The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Bernice Irene Beck Pitts

March 4. 1914 – April 6, 2014

Having celebrated her 100th birthday in March, Bernice Irene Beck Pitts went to be with her Lord on April 6, 2014. There will be a graveside service at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Duncan Cemetery.  Carter Smart is in charge of the arrangements.

    Bernice Irene Pitts was born in Geuda Springs, Kan., on March 4, 1914. Her parents, Charles Richard Beck and Elizabeth Rickords Beck, farmed four miles from Geuda Springs. Bernice had three sisters, Viola, Lyra, and June, and two brothers, Paul (who died in infancy) and Otho. All members of her immediate family have preceded her in death.

    Bernice attended school in Geuda Springs, where she excelled in spelling, typing, and basketball. Following high school she enrolled in a beauty school and worked for a short while as a beautician. On Dec. 20, 1933, Bernice married William Lee Pitts of Sedan, Kan. Pitts worked for Consolidated Gas, and the company moved them briefly to northern Oklahoma and then to Lawton, where they lived for several years. In 1946 they moved to Duncan. Arkla Gas Company bought Consolidated, and Pitts continued to work for them until his retirement. He died in 1975. The couple had one child, William Lee Pitts, Jr., who graduated from Duncan High School, Baylor University, and Vanderbilt University. Both were wonderful parents.

    Bernice went to work for an accounting firm in 1955, then served as financial secretary for First Baptist Church, and finally as secretary to the City Manager of Duncan. She retired in 1984. She found great satisfaction in doing her work well at all three institutions. She also found time for her hobbies. She was a wonderful cook and an avid gardener. She won numerous county fair ribbons for her cooking and her flowers. She crocheted and knitted many doilies, table runners, Afghans and baby things for family and friends. She sustained an interest in physical activity: she walked faithfully and enjoyed playing golf.

    Bernice gave countless hours of service to the ministries of First Baptist Church, Duncan. As a younger woman she led the 13-16-year old department for many years. For several years she also worked as a cook at the annual Falls Creek Baptist Assembly gatherings. In her later years she led the “Home Bound” department of the church, which was responsible for ministry to nursing home residents and others unable to attend church.  Her passion for her faith and her church were the center of her life.

    As her health began to fail, Bernice moved to Waco, Texas, where her family was available to assist her.  She is survived by her son, Dr. William Lee Pitts, Jr. and his wife, Dr. Ruth Landes Pitts of Waco, grandsons, Dr. Bill Pitts and his wife, Katherine Pitts, of Waco and Dr. James Pitts and his wife, Dr. Ping Ting Lan, of Nacogdoches, Texas, great grandchildren Will, Emma and Ellie Pitts of Waco, and Adrian Pitts of Nacogdoches, and numerous nieces and nephews.

    In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the senior ministries of First Baptist Church, Duncan, or First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, or to any charity of one’s choice. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Memorial Guestbook” at