Myriam Germaine Marcelle Pitts, neé Bessemans, 59, of Charlottesville, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her family on Monday, November 7, 2016. She will be dearly missed and remembered for her great spirit, love of family, and passion for living life to the fullest.
Myriam was born in Brussels, Belgium, on November 20, 1956, to the late Hubert Bessemans and Marguerite Cornelis. She grew up and went to school in Brussels. She graduated as an interpreter and spent her early career working for embassies and as a flight attendant across many countries. Myriam moved to Washington, D.C., in the early eighties and soon met John, the love of her life. They married, and she moved to Charlottesville in 1984, where she was a foreign language teacher in the Albemarle County School system for over 30 years.
Myriam loved the beach, great food, and all things Belgian. An avid athlete her entire life, she also enjoyed ballet, skiing, sailing, and horseback riding. Myriam took up rowing in the U.S., and her passion for the sport led her to found the Western Albemarle High School Rowing Team, which she served as head coach. Her legacy will inspire and motivate future generations of young rowers.
Myriam is survived by her husband, John Pitts; two daughters, Mieke Pitts Cranford and Lieve Pitts; her sister, Lieve Bessemans; and her brother, Johan Bessemans.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Myriam Pitts was held Friday, November 11, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Donations can be made in memory of Myriam to the following organizations that were dear to her heart: the Emily Couric Cancer Center, the Western Albemarle High School Rowing Team, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s.