By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Marcus Pittman's office inside the Clayton County courthouse remained open this week as a place of solace and reflection for the co-workers who will miss his gregarious personality and lively spirit.
Pittman, 47, died in a single-car crash Sunday night on Walt Stephens Road. He was looking forward to celebrating 25 years of service with Clayton County in July. He was deputy chief investigator for Solicitor General Tasha Mosley but began his career as a police officer in Forest Park before moving on to the Clayton County Police Department.
Mosley last saw Pittman Saturday afternoon at his home.
"It was weird because when he left work Friday, he told everyone he was at peace," she said. "I went by his house Saturday. He was standing near his garage, the sun was shining and his cat was trying to get inside my car. We told each other, 'love you.' I told him I'd see him Monday, not knowing it was the very last time I would ever see him."
The two had worked together for 15 years and became so close that he named Mosley executor of his will.
"He was my friend, co-worker but most importantly, my brother," she said. "My heart is broken."
Clayton County police said Pittman lost control of his personally-owned vehicle and hit a tree on Walt Stephens Road.
"Marcus Pittman was a very accomplished public servant with an everlasting desire to protect and serve the citizens of Clayton County and neighboring communities," the department posted on its Facebook page. "Pittman served with distinction as a patrolman with the CCPD motors unit and detective with the Clayton County Police Department from 1988 to 1997."
Pittman went to the Solicitor General's Office in 1997 and started working with Mosley the next year. Former Solicitor General Keith Martin, now in private practice in Jonesboro, hired Pittman for the newly-created investigator's position.
Martin was already well-acquainted with Pittman.
"I taught him at the police academy before he went to work for Forest Park," he said. "After I hired him, I arranged to have him go to Jekyll Island to instruct about 700 prosecutors when the (speed detection) laser was new."
Martin also remembered Pittman as being one of only four formally-trained document examiners to ever work in Clayton County.
"He had quite an impressive resume," he said.
There is a tribute to Pittman in the atrium of the Clayton County courthouse and county flags are flying at half-staff. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners honored his memory with a moment of silence before Tuesday night's meeting.
Mosley said Pittman's death is a "tremendous loss" and it is only the physical side of her that wishes he were still alive.
"He is with his Heavenly Father," she said. "He was looking for comfort and love and he's found the ultimate and best love ever. My soul is at peace because I know where he is but my heart is broken."
Pittman foreshadowed his accident, she said.
"He dreamed about six months ago he would die in a crash on Walt Stephens," said Mosley. "He had a premonition. He had recently gotten into the Bible and was often in his office reading scripture."
When Mosley returned to work after Pittman's death, she peeked into his office.
"His eyeglasses were still folded up in the middle of his desk, waiting for him to return," she said. "I've kept his office the way he left it and people have been going in and just sitting."
Pittman was clearly a people-person, she said.
"Every Friday, he'd play music in his office and that sub-woofer would just shake the walls," said Mosley. "He had the best playlists because it just ran the gamut from Smokey Robinson to old school hip-hop. It was good to laugh after a hard week and he'd provide that laughter with music."
Pittman was also a "sci-fi geek."
"He had a storm trooper costume from 'Star Wars' and dressed up in it for Halloween," she said. "He had a full-sized light saber. He had models from 'Space Odyssey.' Those are things I'm going to miss, the goofy stuff that Marc did. He was just that type of person. He had a good heart and will be sorely missed."
His most recent goal was getting that 25-year pin in July, she said.
"He's going to get it, too," said Mosley. "The county is going to give him that pin. He's going to be buried with it. We were blessed to have him for 25 years. You can't replace that knowledge and expertise. I won't even try."
"He always did a real good job," he said. "The one person who never knew how good a job he did was Marcus Pittman."
Services for Pittman will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at Harvest Tabernacle Baptist with interment to follow at Sherwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ford Stewart Funeral Home on Ga. 138.
The family has requested donations be made to Christian City, where Pittman lived for a time as a boy, or to Lou Gehrig's Disease, an ailment from which his mother died.
Christian City is at 7300 Lester Rd. Union City, Ga. 30291; Lou Gehrig’s Disease, 1955 Cliff Valley Way, Suite 116, Atlanta, Ga. 30329.