James (Jim) Andrew Campbell Pitt, an accomplished linguist, fencer, and poet from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, leaves his mother, Sallie Hughes Pitt, of South Hadley; his father, Captain William Pitt, of Norfolk, Virginia; a sister, Leslie; and a brother, William. He was coming home to South Hadley, Massachusetts, to celebrate Christmas with his mother and then on to Norfolk to visit his father.
Known for his long letters home to friends and family, Jim was remembered for his diligent efforts to promote understanding by breaking down language barriers. Fluent in French, German, and Spanish, Jim attended Columbia University for two years before going to Germany to study at Berlin's Goethe Institute in the spring of 1985. He later was transferred to the Free University of Berlin. He planned to re-enroll at Columbia in the fall of 1989. Because of his fluency in languages, Pan Am had hired him for a part-time job as a customer service representative.
Born in California, Jim grew up in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he was a champion fencer as a high school student. Handsome, talented, loving, and affectionate, his minister explained that if one were to measure life by length, Jim's was "too short," but if one were to measure it by affection, "Jim was rich beyond all measure." A friend, writing to his mother explained more about Jim, "Jim was the finest friend a person could ever hope to find—even the long separations and absences, punctuated by elliptical, voluminous letters, melted into an immediate intimacy, as we stumbled our way through adventures of the spirit and mind. I miss him more than I can say."
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