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After a prolonged illness, Walter Pitchford Sr., 86, passed away peacefully at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. He was surrounded by his wife Sarah Elizabeth and their children.
Walter was born on September 16, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois to Walter and Olivia (Stigler) Pitchford, who preceded him in death.
He was a firm believer in the greatness of God and the power of helping his fellow man. He proudly served his country with honor and dignity in the US army during the Korean Conflict. Walter was one of the founding members of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association. He retired as an owner operator of McDonald’s franchises in Chicago, Illinois. This kind, gentle and cheerful man had many interests including a love of wine making, a passion for basketball, fishing and photography.
Walter is survived by his wife of sixty years, Sarah Elizabeth “Liz” Pitchford (Simpson).
Four children: Walter Price Pitchford (Elaine), Joy Pitchford, Jill Owolabi, and Amy Robinson (Lawrence).

Five grandchildren: Keith Stanton, Jeffrey Holton, Patrick Holton, Walter Quinn Pitchford, and Elizabeth Sara Pitchford. Two brothers Donald Pitchford (Emma), Richard Pitchford (Tracy) and one sister, Clara Harmon (Kurt) along with many other relatives and friends. And his beloved little brown dog “Chantal”.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Walter’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: 

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids.



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2 Condolences

  1. Greg Haynes on December 1, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Please pass my sentiments on to Liz, Walt Jr. and the rest of the family. Please accept my deepest condolences. Walt was a good man and truly played a major role in my professional life by the opportunity he gave me many years ago at his McDonalds located at 9560 S. Halsted from 1977-1988.

  2. Paul Taiwo Owolabi on July 18, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that Walter passed away. I just stumbled onto this site. May his gentle soul rest peacefully. My warmest regard to Mrs Pitchford, Walter jr, Joy, Jill, Amy, Jeffrey, Patrick, Walter-Quin, Sarah and Elaine.

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