Robert Pitcher 1952 – 2014
From the Parish News – December 2014
Bob Pitcher, who died on 4th October 2014, was a much-loved resident of Denton and a great friend to many. Bob and his wife Avis arrived in Denton in 2008 from Holland, where he had been an airline pilot with Martinair before his retirement. They settled in Trunch House and soon made many friends. A highly skilled exponent of DIY, Bob could often be found in his workshop, which he called “Little Trunch'' working on his latest project. But Bob had many other interests including music, films, motor cars (Alfa Romeos when he was younger but latterly Audis) and especially sport. Bob was a strong swimmer and was equally at home in a pool or the open sea. He was the owner of two guitars, one a very special Fender Stratocaster.
A proud Australian, Bob's favourite Aussie Rules football team was the Melbourne Demons (the Dees). He fervently followed the Dees all his life but sadly the Dees were spectacularly unsuccessful, much to Bob's chagrin. Despite their lack of success his support for them never wavered. Over a pint at the Queen's Head in Earsham Bob would despair about the latest hammering dished out to his team. But he was able to glow with pride about the feats of the Australian cricket team, even more so when they turned the tables on England last winter in the 5-0 thrashing down under. As a schoolboy, Bob had been coached by the great England fast bowler Frank Tyson, who had emigrated to Australia. Bob was an excellent table tennis player and won the Denton Men's Open tournament in 2011. He was also a very skilful and popular member of the Denton Indoor Bowls Club. If you took on Bob at go-karting it became rapidly apparent that he had spent any free time away from the flight deck at the wheel of these speedy machines. He was simply unbeatable, and would race past his fellow racers with a cheery wave!
Born on 2nd March 1952 in Melbourne, Bob became a pilot and initially flew commercially from his native city. He met Avis in Northern Territory, Australia, following her arrival from her native Scotland to take up a teaching post. They married in Scotland in January 1975 and returned to Australia to live and work and where they had two children, Robbie and Kelly. In 1989, while Bob was working for Ansett Airlines, the pilots were advised by their union to strike over pay and conditions. Bob, along with other pilots, followed the advice. It was a period of great unpleasantness and stress for Bob and the family. He was offered a new contract by Ansett when other pilots were not but he was not prepared to break ranks with his colleagues. That fierce loyalty eventually led to Bob seeking a job outside Australia and in 1990 he and the family moved to Holland. It is the mark of the man that he took this enormous step rather than be disloyal to his colleagues. The family settled well in Holland and Bob enjoyed many successful years as a pilot flying out of Schiphol airport.
Bob was a great family man and was never happier than when he and Avis had the family around them at Trunch House - Robbie and Nicole, Kelly and Egbert, and latterly their two baby grand-daughters Ella and Edie. Bob is also survived by his mother and sister in Australia.
A large crowd gathered at Earlham Crematorium on 16th October to celebrate Bob's life which was so cruelly cut short by illness. Back at Trunch House we toasted a man who had a ready smile and great sense of humour and who, in his own quiet and understated way, brought great joy and friendship to those whose lives he touched.