Captain William R. Fitts, 88, of Lufkin Point Lane, Essex and formerly of Topsfield, husband of Rosa Maria (Vernaci) Fitts, died Saturday, November 10, 2012 in the Beverly Hospital following his brief illness. Born in Providence, RI January 20, 1924 son of the late Harold P. and Beulah (Bowser) Fitts, he was raised in Lincoln RI and a graduate of Pawtucket, RI High School. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps he served during WWII in Europe with the 8th Air Force as a B-17 pilot in command. He flew thirty-five successful bombing missions having been shot down twice. Post war he continued his military service as a bomber pilot instructor. Following his honorable discharge he made the transition to commercial aviation. For the next two years he was employed by TWA as a pilot and Captain in their fleet of transworld Super G Constellations. After this brief career with TWA he went to work as a pilot with American Airlines retiring after thirty-five years in 1984 as a Captain, flying Boeing 747s. He loved flying. He will be remembered by most as a quiet non-assuming man who in retirement enjoyed his time with the family sailing and fishing in their home waters and their many road and camping trips. He was a member of the 8th Air Force Association. In addition to his wife of fifty-two years he is survived by a son, William R. Fitts and his wife Laurie of Topsfield; three daughters, Jane E. Woodman, Sandra Ciolino, Rosemary Burnham and her husband Dennis all of Essex; eleven grandchildren, Ted, Tressa, Lily and Heidi Fitts, Nicole, Justine and Stephanie Boutchie, Cory, Billy and Sarah Burnham and McKenzie Woodman and two great grandchildren, Kihanna and Chanell Boutchie. He was predeceased by a son, Harold P. Fitts formerly of Essex and his two sisters, Jennie and Shirley. His funeral Service will be held 11:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High St., Ipswich, followed by interment with Military Honors in the Spring Street Cemetery, Essex. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. For directions or to leave a condolence please visit www.whittier-porter.com
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Published in The Tri-Town Transcript from Nov. 13 to Nov. 20, 2012