Walter Mahlon Pitsenbarger, 85, died Friday, June 9, 2023, at his home in Garner, NC.
He was born January 21, 1938, in Brandywine, WV. He was the son of the late J. Luther and Flora Mitchell Pitsenbarger, and was the youngest of seven children. He was preceded in death by all six siblings.
He was a 1955 graduate of Franklin High School, Franklin, WV and earned a Bachelor of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, in Dayton, Va. in 1959, and a Masters of Education from the University of Virginia in 1963. While at Shenandoah, he was a member of a quartet called the Troubadours, who performed at various venues in Virginia, West Virginia and throughout the South. In 2018, he and his fellow quartet members were inducted into the Shenandoah University Dayton Hall of Fame.
He was a band and choral teacher at several elementary and high schools throughout Virginia, including two stints in Highland County, first in the early 1960s and later in the early to mid-70s. He was a gifted teacher, much beloved by his students. He influenced several of them to seek a music education in college.
In addition to his parents and siblings he was predeceased by two sons, Noel and Nick Pitsenbarger.
On August 2, 1984 he married Highland County native Jane Pritchard, who survives. He is also survived by two sons, Chris and wife, Kathy of Harrisonburg and Jake and wife, Nora of Raleigh NC, granddaughter, Kailey Pitsenbarger of Harrisonburg; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as a special friend, Judy Merz of Timberville, who was his first wife and mother of his three eldest sons.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, August 19, 2023 at Obaugh Funeral Home, McDowell, Va. followed by an informal reception at Monterey United Methodist Church in Monterey, Va. The graveside committal service will be private. Walter’s nephew, Pastor Ted Schulz of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Dayton, will officiate.