The earthly life of Thomas William Pittis, age 23, of Dennison, came to an end late Tuesday afternoon, March 10, 2009, in Aultman Hospital, at Canton. A Specialist in the United States Army between 2003 and 2006, Pittis had battled service related lung cancer for the past year following a three year commitment as a member of the elite 82nd Airborne. During his time in the All American division, Thomas was a part of several notable missions, including the security detail for former President Reagan's funeral services in 2004, and later, during his deployment to Afghanistan, he took part in the man hunt for Osama Bin Laden â often raiding caves the terrorist was hiding in only moments before â as evidenced by the warm meals found by Specialist Pittis and his comrades.Better known as Tom to his family and friends, he was born May 15, 1985, at Dover, the only son born to William and Kelly Jones Pittis of Freeport. He attended school in the former Lakeland school district before consolidation, when he became a student at Indian Valley High School. As a student athlete, Tom participated in cross-country and distance running on the school's track team. He was a 2003 graduate of Indian Valley High School and the same summer, enlisted in the United States Army. Upon his return from active duty in June, 2006, Tom went to work at the regional distribution center for Wall-Mart at Wintersville, before joining Country Club Retirement Campus, where he put his culinary skills to work preparing meals for residents. Although he had been on leave from Country Club for the past year while battling cancer, his sense of humor and ability to make everyone laugh will long be missed by his colleagues at work. When not at work Tom could be found enjoying the company of family and friends; whether fishing, playing video games, watching ESPN and taking care of his cat, Nicky, and his dog; Oreo. His memberships include the Stillwater Valley VFW Post 6815, and the Freeport Church of Christ, where, before his deployment to Afghanistan, Tom came home to be Baptized, in a frigid waterway near the church that needed to be opened with an axe. While still a student at Indian Valley High, Tom took a gal to Junior Prom and the Homecoming dance, that he would ultimately marry only this past June 7. The former Lisa Hunt, his class mate, became his soul mate during a ceremony at Gnadenhutten United Methodist Church. His wife of nine months, survives, and resides at Dennison. In addition to his wife and parents, Tom will be remembered by his sister, Tiffany Pittis, of Freeport, his maternal grandparents; Tom Jones of Freeport and Sandy (husband, Roger) Devore of St. Clairsville, his paternal grandmother; Norma Pittis and her companion, Bob Paden, of Dover, his mother-in-law; Carol Hunt of Gnadenhutten, and father-in-law; Brian Hunt of Tuscarawas, a brother-in-law; Matthew Hunt of Gnadenhutten and sister-in-law; Amy (husband Dustin) Bryant of Gnadenhutten. Grandmothers-in-law Alice and Carol Ann, and a houseful of extended relatives complete the family. Tom was preceded in death by his sister, Ashley Pittis, and his paternal grandfather, William Pittis. Friends are invited to call Friday, March 13, from 2-4PM and from 6-9PM in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. Pastor Gregg Kelly will lead a funeral celebrating Tom's life Saturday morning, March 14, at 10:30 in the Gnadenhutten United Methodist Church. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Gnadenhutten-Clay Union Cemetery. Following the committal service, family and friends will gather for a reception in the church fellowship hall. Those unable to attend are invited to share memories and condolences with the family by visiting the funeral home's website. The Pittis family requests that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, 525 North Broad Street Canfield, OH 44406.