Longtime Lufkin Industries executive Rod Pittman dies

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jeff Awtrey - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - E.G. Rod Pittman, a longtime executive at Lufkin Industries and community servant, has died. He was 76.

Pittman worked at Lufkin Industries for more than 40 years, retiring as vice president.

In 2003, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Pittman chairman of the state water development board.

Pittman served on the Lufkin City Council and was a former director of the United Way and leader in the Cub Scout and Boy Scouts of America programs. He also served as director of the Angelina County Exposition Center, chairman of the Lufkin Civil Service Commission and president of the LFM Federal Credit Union. He was a founding member of the Lufkin Economic Development Board.

"We're saddened by the news we received," Lufkin Industries Vice President Paul Perez said. "Rod Pittman was a tremendous contributor to Lufkin Industries during his career, and we're thankful for his 40 years he gave us."

Lufkin businessman Trey Henderson said Pittman had just recently learned of a cancerous tumor in his liver. He had decided to have it treated but suffered a stroke around 5 a.m. Tuesday. He died Tuesday afternoon.

Henderson, who roomed with Pittman's son in college, described Pittman as someone who had a can-do attitude.

"If something needed to happen, he wanted to find a way to make it happen," Henderson said. "And he didn't just walk the walk, he talked the talk. He didn't mind getting his hands dirty."

Henderson said it was while Pittman was director of the Expo Center that it was named after Henderson's late father, George H. Henderson.

"He was really big into that," Henderson said. "He wanted to be sure the establishments in Lufkin were named after other people."

Lufkin Economic Development Director Jim Wehmeier said Pittman was "an amazing champion for Lufkin."

"He was always there to pick you up when you need it and there for guidance when you want it," Wehmeier said. "He will be truly be missed but we were lucky to have him."

"Rod Pittman was an influential business leader and inspiring public servant, whose dedication to his community and his neighbors helped make Lufkin a better place to live," Gov. Rick Perry said in a media statment. "From his time at Lufkin Industries to his service on the Texas Water Development Board, Rod made every moment count. Anita and I offer our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time."

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