Joseph attended school in Arcadia and then worked on his family farm. He later worked as a coal miner and in construction in Pittsburg, Kan. After a few years he relocated to Arizona where he stayed with family in the Phoenix area and began building custom homes. He was a builder for many years, then later became superintendent of maintenance for the school system in Humboldt, Ariz., where he worked until his retirement.
After retirement, he and Velda moved to a small farm near Stockton, Mo., where they have lived for the last 25 years. Joseph loved kids and kids loved him. He never said "no" to anyone, was very trusting and would help anyone in need. He loved to play cards and was very proud of his garden which never had even one single weed.
Aside from Velda, Joseph is survived by seven sons, Gary Ray Pitts, Sedalia, Larry Joe Pitts and Susan, El Dorado Springs, Jerry Wayne Pitts and Candy, Franklin, Kan., Terry Lee Pitts, Baxter Springs, Kan., Kerry Eugene Pitts and Coletta, Baxter Springs, Kan., Perry Allen Pitts and Connie, El Dorado Springs, and Joseph Ray Pitts Jr. and Dawn, Stockton; five daughters, Vicki Kay Pitts, Girard, Kan., Carolyn Jean Ables and Victor, Ward, Ark., Deloris Ann Broussard, North Las Vegas, Nev., JoEllen Russell and Gayle, Pittsburg, Kan., and Jana Lee Street and Rob, El Dorado Springs; 34 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and two brothers, Claude Pitts and Jenny, Columbia, and Carl Pitts and Ola, Liberal. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Barry Lynn Pitts; one daughter, Anita Marie Greeley; five brothers Chester, Cecil, John, Paul and Roy; and one sister, Vida Miller.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with the Rev. David Lucas officiating. Interment will follow in the Shiloh Cemetery, Liberal, Mo. Friends may call now until the hour of service at the funeral home.
Contributions may be made in Joseph's memory to the Ronald McDonald House in care of Ferry Funeral Home.
View obituary and send condolences online at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.