Dr. Eric Kitzman (1921 - 2013)

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Kitzman, Dr. Eric

Dr. Eric Walter Kitzman was born September 25, 1921 in Turtle Lake, WI and died October 20, 2013 in Oshkosh, WI. Eric was born to the late Reverend Gottlieb and Hannah (Putzig) Kitzman. He was married to his departed wife Lois for 66 years.

Dr. Kitzman was one of the most recognizable and successful high school and college coaches in the Fox Valley. He left an impressive legacy in athletics. Kitzman was an accomplished athlete growing up. He attended Concordia H.S. in Milwaukee earning nine letters in baseball, basketball and football. He signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939. He played two years in the Texas League before the league folded due to World War II. He played baseball and football at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and graduated in 1945 with a B.S. degree in Physical Education and a Masters degree in 1954. He received his Doctorate degree from the University of lowa in 1962. Eric was athletic director and coached basketball and baseball at Menasha High School from 1945-1955. He guided the Blue Jays to the WIAA state titles in 1951 and 1953. His baseball team also took the state title in 1953.

Eric moved his career to the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in 1955. He was a professor in the athletic department and became the Athletic Director from 1965-1988. Kitzman coached the UW-0 men's basketball team from 1956-1961 with the 1960 team competing at the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, MO. He started the baseball program at UW-0 and was head coach from 1956-1968 winning the WSUC title in 1968. He coached the UW-0 men's golf team from 1966-1988 and won five Wisconsin State University Conference titles and six National Association Intercollegiate Athletic District 14 titles. Seven of his golf teams competed in national tournaments. As Athletic Director, he was instrumental in helping get the Kolf Sports Center Complex and Titan Stadium built.

Eric and Lois spent many winters after retirement in Vero Beach, FL walking on the beach and attending Dodger games.

He was a long time member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Oshkosh.

Eric is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, sisters; Malinda (Herman) Kautz, Luella (Raymond) Schmitd, Cleona (Robert) Pomerenka and a Brother; Victor (Louise) Kitzman.

The funeral service will be on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, (338N Eagle St., Oshkosh) with Reverend David Pagel officiating. Family and friends may visit at the church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eric will be laid to rest at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in memory of Eric Kitzman.

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Published in Oshkosh Northwestern from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, 2013
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