On Saturday evening, Dec. 16, 2006, Michael Henry Pithan, 56, died unexpectedly at his home in Marion, Utah. Mike was born in Long Beach, Calif., to Gerhardt J. Pithan and Helen (Bond) Pithan on April 9, 1950. He grew up on the beaches of Southern California, surfing, cutting school and smoking cigarettes. After high school, he volunteered in the U.S. Army to keep from getting into more trouble. He served his country and was honorably discharged in 1974. He then devoted his time to caring for his mother who was dying from lung cancer. After her passing, he moved to Park City, Utah, where his best friends had moved and together they lived and skied and made many more good friends.
Some may remember him as the local cable guy; others might remember him as the tow-truck driver who pulled them out of a snowdrift. Still others will recall the school bus mechanic or one of the guys at Maedel’s Body Shop. In 1983, he drove his 1946 Chevy pickup slowly back to California and ran out of gas in Scotts Valley. There he met Melody Garratt and they were married in 1987. Though Mike yearned to return to Utah, she wouldn’t budge until 1992 when they bought a lovely old house in Marion. Mike spent the next five years remodeling the house and making it a warm and comfortable home for his wife and their pets.
Over the past 14 years he worked in the construction field, helping to build homes, working with his best friends Arne and Wayne on building and remodeling projects; building mannequins in Oakley and cabinets in Marion and Heber.
Mike was a gentle and humble man. Shy, intelligent and creative, he enjoyed woodworking and built beautiful things. His hobbies included the appreciation of German-built cars, especially Audis and Volkswagens, yet he always had a soft spot in his heart for that Chevy pickup he had sold. He was a self-taught computer user and built his own Web site that featured his vehicles. He had many friends online and daily chatted with other car lovers from around the world. He loved to plan out and take long road trips and loved to camp. He treasured summer vacations at Lake Powell with his buddies and always tried to be prepared with everything anyone might need. He loved animals. He enjoyed feeding the potguts at his friend’s house or feeding the birds and the neighbor’s dogs at home. He’d always try to reunite fallen baby birds with their parents and hated it when the cats caught a bird.
A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at the Kamas Bible Church, 280 North 100 West, at noon on Thursday, Dec. 28. Pastor Gerald VanBuren will officiate over the service. All are welcome to attend. Please come! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael H. Pithan Memorial Fund at any Zion’s Bank, or at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
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Park City has launched a survey designed to learn about travel habits during a winter that was unlike any other in the skiing era of the community.