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Robert DeWitt "Bob" Fitch


1939 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert DeWitt "Bob" Fitch Obituary
Robert "Bob" DeWitt Fitch
July 20, 1939 - April 29, 2016
Resident of Watsonville
That which encourages me to write my own obituary is probably vanity, which functionally exposes a known element of my character -- stubborn independence. Fortunately my self-absorbed self has retreated in my seniority as I am increasingly required to release control to a team of thoughtful caretakers.
Seventy-six years is pretty good endurance since as a child I thought 50 was old and 60 was certainly the end. Furthermore I have fulfilled an inspiration that occurred at 15 years of age upon hearing Pete Seeger sing:
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has gone up and went.
In spite of it all I'm able to grin
And think of the places my get up has been.
Two instant & lasting inspirations:
1) The goal of life is neither happiness nor comfort: The goal is fulfillment.
2) An eschatological (end times) philosophy: When making decisions imagine reflecting back from your final days able to say "I chose the right places to be."
In my final days I feel the fullness and I am thankful for the places my get-up has chosen to be.
These "places" have included numerous brother and sister comrades-in-mischief, the caring of several loving partners (Carolyn Runes, Lynne Simcox, Annie Boudreau, Allison Luterman, Karen Mallory, Ester Centers, and Karen Shaffer), my loving sister (Shelley Herting), the challenge and inspiration of four children (Kevin Schultz, MaKaWa Alexander, Benjamin Fitch, Jaxon Ravens Fitch) and three grandchildren (Lucas Fitch, Simon Schultz, Camellia Alexander).
To these intimates I also apologize. They are aware that I am difficult to live with, certainly eccentric. And some times a cloudy boundary separates my self-serving piety and passionate idealism. Please forgive me for this selfishness and confusion.
My life has been enriched by global travel, and the opportunity to photo document & know leaders and workers of various nonviolent campaigns for social justice. I have been uniquely inspired by engagement with Pete Seeger, the folk musician who walked his song and talk; by Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated leader of the black civil rights movement who reminded all that the scaffold of peace is justice; and by Dorothy Day, journalist, titular parent of the Catholic Worker Movement soon to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church even though she vigorously declared, "don't call me a saint."
As a folk song writer and sing-along facilitator, I have been especially nourished by labor & political folk music traditions. I've had the good fortune to fiscally support myself, family, political activities and photography with a lifetime of employment in various human service occupations including campaign organizing & administration, low income & homeless housing development, military resistance and resistor counseling.
I am surprised yet especially honored that my life concludes with establishment of a physical heritage. Images of many of the fine people and places my "get up has been" are a preserved & freely accessible as the Bob Fitch Photo Archive at the Stanford University Libraries: https://exhibits.stanford.edu/fitch/browse

Because of it all, I am able to grin! Make mischief!

Memorial Services will be held at Peace United Church (formerly First Congregational Church), 900 High Street, Santa Cruz, 95060 on Friday, May 27th, 2016 a 2:00pm.
If you would like to offer your condolences to Bob's family, share your memories and light a candle in his honor, please visit www.scmemorial.com
Photo by David Bacon


View the online memorial for Robert "Bob" DeWitt Fitch
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 3, 2016
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