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Choctaw Indians celebrate beloved local legend Fred Pitts on his 89th birthday

Choctawhatchee High School alumni, current students, and staff came together on Tuesday to celebrate the 89th birthday of local legend Mr. Fred Pitts. The festivities took place at the Pitts residence, […]

Choctawhatchee High School alumni, current students, and staff came together on Tuesday to celebrate the 89th birthday of local legend Mr. Fred Pitts.

  • The event, organized by Gareth Stearns and School Board Member Linda Evanchyk, aimed to honor Mr. Pitts, who has been facing health challenges and is currently under Hospice care.

The festivities took place at the Pitts residence, where a large crowd of Big Green Indians gathered to show their appreciation for a man who has played multiple roles in the community over the years. The event kicked off with a group of alumni and staff boarding a bus provided by the Okaloosa County School District, which departed around 10:30 am and made its way to the Pitts residence.

Image via Rick Stevens

One of the organizers, Gareth Stearns, spoke passionately about Mr. Pitts, describing him as a local legend and a central figure in the community. 

  • “If there were a Mount Rushmore in Okaloosa County, this man would be on top of it,” Stearns remarked. He further highlighted Mr. Pitts’ various contributions, including his involvement in water ski shows on Okaloosa Island, his coaching role with the baseball team, his position as a drivers-ed teacher, and his renowned status as the “voice of the stylemarchers.”

Upon arrival at the Pitts residence, the crowd formed a heartwarming surprise for the birthday honoree. In the front yard, they arranged themselves to spell out “Happy Birthday”. The Indianettes had already decorated the yard, adding an extra touch of festivity to the occasion.

The performances and speeches took place in the front yard, which served as an impromptu stage for the event. The attendees sang a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Pitts, who watched the celebration from his front window. The atmosphere was filled with love and appreciation as friends, acquaintances, and admirers expressed their heartfelt sentiments for a beloved local figure.

Image via Rick Stevens

Reflecting on the event, Mr. Pitts himself expressed his gratitude to everyone present, saying, “There are no words to say I love you and I do love you, to all of you folks here. The ones that know me and the ones that don’t know me. Thank you very much.” 

  • He concluded his remarks with a lighthearted note, jokingly asking, “Thank you for coming and uh, where’s my cake?”

Fred Pitts, with his involvement in baseball, drivers-ed instruction, and his iconic role as the “voice of the stylemarchers,” has left an indelible mark on the community. The outpouring of support and celebration on his 89th birthday showcased the deep appreciation and respect that the community holds for this local legend.

  • His contributions and dedication have made a lasting impact, and his birthday celebration served as a fitting tribute to a man who has touched the lives of many.


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