Gerald J. Pittenger, 84, of Bellevue Washington, passed away March 21, 2017, with his family by his side.
Gerald was born August 17, 1932 in Scobey Montana, the son of Jay and Florence Pittenger. A graduate of Minot State Teachers College in North Dakota, he took graduate work in accounting at the University of Washington, and received his CPA. He married the love of his life, Jane Elizabeth Kingston, in Pillsbury North Dakota, on August 24, 1952. Gerald joined Price Waterhouse in 1958 where he was a tax manager and savings-and-loan specialist for nine years. He then joined Union Federal in July 1967 and became president. As CEO, he grew the Savings in Loan to a large regional Bank (Great Western Bank). He later served as president of the Seattle League of Insured Savings Institutions. Gerald also served as the Board Chair and Interim CEO of Overlake Hospital. He was a founder of the Exchange ATM network for financial institutions in Washington State.
Gerald and Jane have been long-time members of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue. Together they have been long-time contributors to Lutheran Compass Mission, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the ARK (day care center at Cross of Christ).
Gerald had a strong passion for cattle ranching. A true cowboy and animal whisperer, he successfully raised many different breeds of cattle; Charolais, Simmental, Angus, and Wagyu. He worked closely with the Washington State University animal husbandry program, funding research, donating cattle and providing valuable breeding information. As a child Gerald spent a lot of time on his Grandpa’s ranch. He had very special relationships with the ranching families he worked with over the years and held them in the highest regard. He was a mentor to many in the banking and ranching industries.
Gerald’s greatest joy was spending precious time with his family and friends. Gerald loved fishing with his brother, children, grandchildren, and friends. Gerald believed in working hard, being grateful for what you have, and giving back.
Gerald is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jane Pittenger, his brother Gary Pittenger, his four children; Joan Pittenger (Bruce Harruff), Susan Melgaard (Paul Neary), Lisa (Greg) Erwin, Jay (Lori) Pittenger and eight grandchildren; Christopher Melgaard, Kevin (Rachel) Pittenger, Cameron Melgaard (Brittany Trujeque-Boyer), Joel (Kristin) Pittenger, Margo Erwin (Jason Baker), Jay D. Pittenger (Emily Storm), Bailey Erwin and Justin Pittenger.
A memorial service will be held at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church at 411 156th Ave NE Bellevue WA 98007, on Saturday May 6th at 11am, with a luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers please donate to Compass Housing Alliance or a charity of your choice.