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David Curry “Bucky” Pitts

David Curry Pitts, 87, passed away on October 27, 2021, after a long illness. He is better known as Bucky Pitts, and he received his nickname after his dad, Buck Pitts. Mr. Ralph Askins, late of Fayetteville, Tennessee, gave him the nickname during a football practice. Mr. Askins said, “Your dad is Buck, so we are going to call you Bucky.” Most people knew him by this name the rest of his life.

Bucky was born at home in 1933 in the community of Harms to George Lofton Pitts, Sr., and Annie Mackenzie Pitts. He was an outstanding athlete from his youth, as he played all sports. However, his great love was always football. Bucky was an outstanding football player in Central High School of Fayetteville, Tennessee. After a stint in the Navy, Bucky went to Middle Tennessee State College where he played football and baseball, and he was the captain of the football team. He was selected as a small college All American in 1959, after playing in the Tangerine Bowl in Florida and leading his team in rushing, receiving, interceptions, and kickoff returns. The Denver Broncos drafted him, but, with a growing family, he returned home to Fayetteville.  Bucky then was hired to coach football at his alma mater, Central High School, in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Bucky coached for 6 successful seasons at Central, and, in 1961, his team won the state championship. Bucky was then offered the job of head football coach at Putnam County High School in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he also won the state championship. There he coached Watson and Mack Brown, who would later become outstanding college coaches in their own spheres. Bucky then became the head football coach for Morgan County High School in Hartselle, Alabama, for 12 years. Bucky finished his career as head football coach for 12 years in Guntersville High School, Alabama, where he retired at the age of 58. He enjoyed nearly 30 years of retirement surrounded by his adoring family. He traveled out West many times with his family and friends, played golf, and attended college and high school football games.

David Curry “Bucky” Pitts died on October 27, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Shirley Moffett Pitts. She was the homecoming queen at Central High School, and he was the captain of the football team their senior year, a true American dream love story. His daughters, Deborah Pitts Churchill (Stephen), Patricia Pitts Sweetland (Sammy), Karen Pitts Moore (Bill), Elizabeth Pitts Tortorich (Beth), and one son, David C. Pitts (Janet) also survive him. Surviving grandchildren are: Rick Bowling (Adrienne), David Sweetland (Emily), Amy Sweetland Marlow (Melvin), Pollard and Hill Elliott, Matt and Brad Pitts, Sarah Pitts Anguish (Jack), and Mason Tortorich. Bucky also leaves behind 13 great grandchildren who adored their “Peepaw.” Bucky was preceded in death by his parents, George Lofton Pitts and Annie Mackenzie Pitts. He also had 6 siblings who preceded him in death: George Lofton Pitts, Jr., Margie Carter, William Pitts, Joseph Pitts, Robert Pitts, and Joanne Huffman. He has one surviving sister, Aileen Nielson .

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on November 6, 2021, at 12:00 at the First United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Friends will be received from 11:00 to 12:00 at the church. Reverend Bobby Ray Halbrooks, a long time and dear friend of Bucky’s, will conduct the Celebration of Life service. After the service, the remains will be interred in the family plot at Rose Hill Cemetery, Fayetteville, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to First United Methodist Churches in Guntersville, Hartselle, Fayetteville, and Cookeville or the National Park Service.

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4 Comments To "David Curry “Bucky” Pitts"

#1 Comment By Karen Karch Gilluam On October 29, 2021 @ 8:44 pm

So sad to learn of Coach Pitts’ passing. I was fortunate enough to have been one of his students at CHS where he coached football, taught P.E., General Business, and Study Hall. He was one of a kind. They don’t make them like him anymore. My sincere sympathy to his family.

#2 Comment By patricia reese On October 30, 2021 @ 7:29 am

Patti – Sorry to hear about your Dad – Patricia Strong Reese

#3 Comment By David Nash On November 6, 2021 @ 5:53 am

Coach Pitts was by far the best coach I could have possibly had. He coached us to state champs in 1967. I loved coach Pitts.
God bless,
David Nash #55, offensive center

#4 Comment By Charlie Oden On November 6, 2021 @ 2:14 pm

Coach was a great person and wonderful friend to me and I am truly sorry in the death of him. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers during your time of sorrow and I remember many fond memories that I have been involved with him. I give all my love to the family.