Philip Henry Pitts V went to be with the Lord on May 20, 2020, a day after his eighty-first birthday. He was born in Selma on May 19, 1939 to Daisy Mary Hicks “Hicky” Pitts and William McLean Pitts. In his early childhood, during World War II from 1942-1945, he lived with his parents in New York City while his father served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That is where he became a staunch New York Yankees fan and developed his passion for all sports.
Henry graduated from Albert G. Parrish High School in 1957. He then attended the University of Alabama where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Business Administration in 1962 and his Bachelor of Law degree in 1963 followed by his Juris Doctor degree. He was the fourth generation of Pitts to study law at the Capstone. While in school, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Mary Rose “Sister” O’Flinn on August 6, 1960. After graduating from law school and his admission to the Alabama Bar Association, he returned to Selma to practice law as a fourth-generation member of the law firm, Pitts and Pitts, one of the oldest law firms in the state of Alabama. At the University of Alabama, he served on the Executive Council of the Law School Student Body as Treasurer, was a member of the Kappa Alpha social fraternity, and a member of the John Tyler Morgan Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. Henry was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve on June 3, 1962.
Considered to be among Alabama’s most prominent and colorful attorneys, Henry gained notoriety in many high-profile cases over the years as well as serving as Selma City Attorney from 1982 to 2000 alongside Mayor Joe T. Smitherman. His celebrated career included serving as the Attorney and Agent for NFL Hall of Famer, Kenny Stabler. Henry was also instrumental in the formation of one of the first collegiate sports marketing organizations while representing industrialist Larry Striplin and Golden Eagle Enterprises. After over 50 years of practicing law the firm now remains as Pitts, Williams and Jones led by Henry’s close associates Rick Williams and Tommy Jones.
Henry was an avid and skilled golfer and a lifelong member of the Selma Country Club where he served as President from 2004-2007. In his later years, Henry “held court” each afternoon in the Men’s Locker Room where his friendship was treasured and his embellished tales legendary. Those meetings continued every Monday night at Henry’s playroom bar concluding with his 81st birthday celebration last Monday. “Long live the Monday Night Men.” His social and civic life included membership in the Selma Jaycees and the German Club. Henry was raised in the First Presbyterian Church and later was a member of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Henry is predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his beautiful wife “Sister” of 59 years and his four children; Philip Henry Pitts VI (Mary Wallace) of Tuscaloosa, William McLean Pitts II (Jennifer) of Valley Grande, Mary Kathryn Allen (Mitch) of Birmingham and Margaret Grey Lee (Wesley) of Birmingham; his sisters Emily Alexander (Weir) of Orlando, Florida , Grace Henry (Johnny) of Pleasant Hill and Mary Margaret Mims (Mark) of Selma; his eleven grandchildren Amanda Nummy (Jacob), Kathryn Ann Pitts, Madacyn Lawrence (Dylan), Mary Coleman Jennings (Payne), Mitchell McLean Allen, Mallory Grey Allen, Philip Henry Pitts VII, Aoife Kate Pitts, Anna Wallace Pitts, Margaret Elise Lee and William Charles Lee; his three great-grandchildren Stormi Brooke Lawrence, Addisyn Ann Hall and Bensyn Kade Hall and many close friends whom he loved.
The Pitts family expresses deep gratitude to Southern Care Hospice and his outstanding nurse Whitley Gunn and his caregivers Anthony Forbes and Michael Steele. They especially appreciate and treasure the relationships with longstanding friend Walter Chambers as well as the wonderful staff of the Selma Country Club.
Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 11 a.m. at Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma with Judge Bob Armstrong and Reverend Allen Yarborough officiating. The family requests that safe social distancing is practiced by all attendees. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Big Oak Ranch, bigoak.org, or P.O. Box 507, Springville, Alabama, 35146.