Mike "Fitz" Fitzpatrick died June 4, 2010, on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. He was surrounded by friends and doing what he loved.
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Mike was born on Nov. 19, 1950, and raised in Aspen, Colo., in a family with four sisters. They loved and supported him always, and he did the same for them.
Fitz was athletic and fast, especially in the sprints, and played high school sports at a state championship level in football. He was a terror on the basketball court too. He loved skiing - period.
The first time Mike laid eyes on Montana, and especially the Virginia City area, he was smitten. He moved to Virginia City for good in 1976, ultimately also living in Ennis, and acclimated immediately. Fitz loved the people here and they loved him. He hiked and fished, hunted (or at least hung out in hunting camp), loved big sky vistas and rafting down fast rivers.
Fitz seemed a little sad at times. That turned around when he married Nancy. He wasn't happy all the time, but he was happy with Nancy, happy up in the hills and happy on a pair of skis, and probably happiest of all on a river. He will be greatly missed for a long time by his wife, family and many friends.
Mike is survived by his wife, Nancy; mother, Elva; father, Jim; and younger sisters, Patsy, Theresa and Margaret "Peggy."
His older sister, Judy, preceded him in death.
A potluck memorial service will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Virginia City Elks.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 16, 2010