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Obituary: Donald Robert Pitti

Don Pitti, resident of Munsey Park, Manhasset for over 43 years, died unexpectedly on Dec. 18, 2010, at the age of 80. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, the former Grace Curtis; his children Robert Pitti and Gail Curtis Cerick, his son-in-law Richard Cerick, his daughter-in-law Anne Pitti and his beloved grandchildren: Matthew, Julie, Mark and Scott Cerick and Samantha and Joseph Pitti.

Don was active his early years in the Booster Club serving as its president in the late ’70s. He could always be found on weekends coaching football or lacrosse with the young players of the PBC. He also served on the Citizens Advisory on Finance for the board of education.

Don was a member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club for over 23 years, enjoying many memorable summers with his family.

Don graduated from NYU in 1958 with a degree in journalism – was an editor of the school paper and inducted to the Triganon Honor Society.

Don had enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948 – then was recalled for the Korean War and served a 2 ½ year additional tour on the USS Midway carrier. His first job in the finance business was with Arthur Weisenberger where he served as president, 1967 to 1976. The company was then acquired by John Nureen & Co. where he was a partner and chief marketing officer until 1987. Don finished his business career at J & W Seligman & Co. as managing director and partner, retiring December 1994. After retiring Don became founding director of the Financial Services Institute at Tobin School of Business at St. John’s University and served as adjunct professor of finance. He was a founding father of the Financial Planning Association in 1969, the same year he helped start the College for Financial Planning. He was chairman of the Foundations from 1994 to 2000. The FPA presented him with the prestigious P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award in 2008 for outstanding contributions to the profession. He spearheaded the volunteer effort after the terrorist attacks of September 11. He helped raise 12 million dollars to allow financial planners in the New York area to provide free advice to the families of the victims.

Don was a gentleman to all and had a great passion for life, a good laugh, for helping those in need and, of course, for Long Island beaches of the Hamptons, where he had homes in Amagansett, and later Bridgehampton for over 40 years. But most of his passion was for his children, Bob and Gail, his wife Grace, and later his grandchildren.

Don was a member of the Unions League Club in Manhattan for 30 years and the Metropolitan Opera Club for 15 years, where he was on the board of directors, serving as treasurer; the opera and the club being a great pleasure in his life. He will be missed by all.