Francis Louis Fitter, 92, passed away on Flag Day, June 14, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 26, 2014 at St. Francis Village Catholic Chapel. Private burial at the Hess Cemetery, Hess.
Francis was born on Feb. 21, 1922, in Altus, to John Michael Fitter and Lola Bernice McGuire, and was the third of their eight children. He graduated from Altus High School in May 1940, and joined the Oklahoma National Guard. His guard unit was inducted into federal service, and he was at Camp Barkley in Abilene, Texas, when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He completed the Infantry Officers Candidate Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in August 1942, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. He became a member of the 501st Parachute Infantry and was promoted to First Lieutenant. In January 1944, the 501st became a part of the 101st Airborne Division in England. He then participated in demonstration parachute jumps for Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower prior to the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944. In that invasion, he parachuted from the lead C-47 of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, of the 101st Division. He saw action in Holland, was under siege at Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, and fought the remainder of the war with the 101st Airborne in eastern France.
Francis was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, during the Korean War, and served both at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and as Company Commander of "L" Company, 31st Infantry, 7th Division, in Korea. He completed this active tour of duty training recruits at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. After serving with several reserve units including Infantry, Special Forces, and Army Intelligence, Francis retired from the Army as a Major in 1982.
Francis graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor's degree in geology in 1950, and then earned his Master's degree in geology at The University of New Mexico in 1958. He enjoyed a 32-year career as a geologist with the Mobil Oil Corporation, working on both domestic and international projects. After his retirement from Mobil in 1982, his love of geology led him to continue working as an independent geologist.
Francis, a devout Christian, was known for his love of family and country, and his kindness and generosity. The Fitter family expresses their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Robert H. Kelly and the staff at Stonegate Nursing and Rehabilitation for providing Francis with exceptional and compassionate care.
Francis was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn Moore; one son, Stephen Fitter, M.D.; two sisters and their husbands, Mary Catherine and Joseph Wilson, and Rita and Gerald Johnson; and two sisters-in-law, Kathleen Fitter and Peggy Fitter.
Survivors include sons, Jeffrey Fitter of Norman, Fredric Fitter (Lynne) of Benbrook, Texas, and Gregory Fitter (Linda) also of Norman; a daughter-in-law, Susan Fitter Sloane (Stanton) of The Plains, Va.; six grandchildren, Stephanie Fitter of Washington D.C., Alexandra Fitter of New York, Jennifer Fitter of Wellington, Fla., Thomas Fitter of Denver, Colo., and Seth and Madison Fitter of Norman; four brothers, Philip, Sylvester, and Jean (Luanne) Fitter of Fort Worth, and Patrick (Virginia) Fitter of Edmond; one sister, Norma (Wayne) Bokorney of Georgetown, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.
Should friends desire, memorials in lieu of flowers may be given to Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, P.O. Box 15610, Fort Worth, Texas 76119.