Obituary of Robert W. Fitz

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Robert W. Fitz

May 19, 1932 - September 15, 2003

Hampton Union, Friday, September 19, 2003

LEBANON - Robert Webster Fitz, 71, died Monday, Sept. 15, 2003, in the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

He was born May 19, 1932, in Burlington, Vt., the son of the late Robert F. and Helen E. (Webster) Fitz. He was raised in Wakefield, Mass., and resided in the Wakefield/Melrose area before moving to Hampton. He moved to Lebanon in 1977.

He was a graduate of Wakefield High School and attended Babson College.

He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and served during the Korean Conflict and with the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

Mr. Fitz began his career as a firefighter in 1969, when he became deputy fire chief with the Hampton Fire Department. He was later named chief of the department . He became deputy chief of the Lebanon Fire Department in 1977 and retired in 1990. He was employed by Dartmouth College Department of Safety and Security, and at the Hood Museum of Art as a security guard.

He had previously been a salesman for Eastman Nozzles in Concord, worked for the Underwriters Insurance Co., of Boston, and was employed by Gamewell Fire Alarm Systems.

He held volunteer and honorary firefighter status in Grantham and Meriden and had served as a volunteer firefighter in Massachusetts for most of his life. He was a fire inspector for Hanover and a part-time instructor for the N.H. Fire Standards and Training Academy for more than 30 years. He earned the first Emeritus Award as a fire instructor.

Mr. Fitz was a life member of Box 52; an honorable member of Leather Helmet Society; member of Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus; the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors; Grafton County Fish & Game; AARP; founder and life member of the N.H. Municipal Signal Association; a life member and past president of Interstate Emergency Unit; the Air Force Association; the Massachusetts Institute of Fire Department Instructors; Gun Owners of New Hampshire; National Rifle Association; Amoskeag Reserve Engine Co.; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; N.H. Permanent Firefighters Association; Hanover Call Firefighter; the Lebanon Firefighters Association; the International Municipal Signal Association; an honorary member of the N.H. statewide notification; the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society; an honorary chief of the Boston Fire Department and the N.H. Fire Service Committee of Merit.

He was the first honorary member of Local No. 1478, I.A.F.F. in Wakefield.

He loved animals and was an avid collector of fire, police and military memorabilia.

He is survived by his wife, with whom he would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on Oct. 19, Virginia (Hewitt) Fitz of Lebanon; one son, Robert W. Fitz Jr. of Nashua; two daughters, Nancy McLain of Lebanon and Susan Agan of New Hampton; five grandchildren; two godsons and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Thursday in the First Congregational Church of Lebanon with the Rev. Richard N. Slater officiating. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to The Upper Valley Humane Society, 300 Old Route 10, Enfield, NH 03748-4207 or to The Meriden Volunteer Fire Dept., c/o John Woodward-Poor, 29 Barker Road, Plainfield, NH 03781.

Arrangements were by the Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory, Lebanon.

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