Steven F. Fitzer
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Steven F. Fitzer

Always the comedian, Steven F. Fitzer played one last joke on those of us who loved him. After one final deposition and a splendid dinner out, in the early hours of August 28, 2019, Steve passed away peacefully at the age of 68 next to the love of his life, Bertha, and his beloved Bengals. Those lucky enough to know Steve cherished his wit, his loyalty, and his generosity. He loved his family, the practice of law and his community. The loving father of Frederick Michael Fitzer (Fritz), he refused to bestow his name on his only son, but couldn't refrain from referring to him as "Junior" nonetheless.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Steve was the ultimate "Cheesehead" cheering for the Packers every chance he got and ribbing his opponents about inferior teams such as the Bears, the Vikings or the Steelers. Following his graduation from Carroll College, Steve and Bertha married just three weeks before he entered Marquette Law School. Two weeks after graduation in 1976, Steve and Bertha rented a U-Haul and headed to Tacoma where Steve began his distinguished career as a trial lawyer.

Steve's success in the courtroom was legendary but more important to him was his reputation for professionalism and civility. Steve was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and an emeritus member of the Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court. One of the most gifted natural trial lawyers to grace a courtroom, jurors and clients loved him, judges admired him and frustrated opponents underestimated his skills to their own peril. To the physicians he defended he was known as "Mother Fitzer." Many of his clients remained his friends years after he skillfully defended their reputations.

For years, Steve was the leading fundraiser for the Courage Classic, a bicycle ride that raises much-needed funds for the Child Abuse Intervention Department of Mary Bridge Hospital. The very first person to raise in excess of $100,000, Steve earned an honorary "yellow" jersey for being the most successful fundraiser for the cause of helping abused children in our community. He proudly displayed this jersey at the offices of Fitzer Fitzer Veal McAmis, P.S. where he practiced with Bertha, Jennifer Veal, Elizabeth McAmis and a new recruit, Amy Cole.

Steve leaves a hole in all of our lives, especially Fritz, the son he so loved, and Bertha, his wife of 46 years. Bertha and Fritz ask that you drink a toast to him and that you give your own loved ones an extra special hug. The date and location for a grand celebration of this wonderful man's life will be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, Bertha and Fritz ask that you help send him off with a second yellow jersey by donating in his memory to assist Mary Bridge in its efforts to end child abuse. His memorial page is at:

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Sep. 1 to Sep. 2, 2019.
02:00 - 05:00 PM
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19 entries
April 17, 2020
Trying to contact my old friend today, found to my sadness that he had passed away. We were on opposite sides of a complex lawsuit and became friends after it resolved. He was a superb attorney, honest and capable as they come. He had a gift for humor. We spoke once or twice for years and i will miss a lot our conversations. Larry Sokol, Portland
September 19, 2019
News of Steve's passing shocked and saddened so many people whose lives he touched and enriched. I was fortunate to be one of those people. I worked with Steve (as a consultant) for nearly 25 years, and there was simply no finer attorney or friend. My deepest sympathies to his family, whom he loved dearly. He has left an empty place in this world. Rest in peace, Steve.
Angela Dodge
September 19, 2019
Angela Dodge
September 17, 2019
I was shocked to hear of Steve's passing. He was a great man and I feel privileged for having known he and Bertha. RIP!
Missi Parker
September 13, 2019
I did not know Steve well, but as a past member of the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital Foundation Board, I admired Steve for his commitment to the health and well-being of children. His hard work and generosity earned the respect and appreciation of all of us on the board. He will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences to the Fitzer family.

Steve Lund
September 10, 2019
I had the privilege of being an opposing counsel on a case with Steve. He was an excellent advocated and a real gentleman throughout the process. The entire Washington State Bar loses a giant with his passing. My heartfelt condolences are offered to Bertha the rest of his family and his firm. He will be sorely missed.

Fred Langer
September 9, 2019
So saddened to hear of Steve's passing. I worked with Steve while in law school and consulted him from time to time mostly about whom to refer medical malpractice cases to and he was always willing to share the names of good counsel. He was humorous and loved applying his mid-Western experiences and values to life. The legal community lost a good man. My condolences to Bertha and Steve's family.
Richard Wooster
September 9, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. Steve was such a terrific guy and so very funny too. He was so kind and thoughtful and always went the extra mile for you. He was generous and giving. I had the good fortune to work with Steve and Bertha on some litigated cases for my prior employer. I really grew to admire and respect them both so much. My heart is broken for you Bertha and for your son Fritz. Steve lived his life well and he will be remembered by those whose lives he touched while he was here on earth. May God bless and keep you.
Angie Heaton
September 7, 2019
Bertha and Frtz,
I was so saddened to hear of Steve's sudden passing. Although I didn't know him well, I know he was one of the good guys ! The entire community and especially Mary Bridge benefited greatly from his enthusiasm. Your family has been a model for community leadership. I cannot imagine losing your life partner and soul mate . My heart breaks for you. We have a wonderful guest house in Jackson Hole that we invite you to use . The beauty here is good for renewal and healing. Sending you strength and solace.
Martha McCravey
Martha McCravey
September 6, 2019
Steve was a wonderful human being whose compassion and wit will be greatly missed, but not forgotten. I was thankful to have had the pleasure of working with him professionally.
Sincere Condolences to Bertha & Fritz,
Karen Kelly
Karen Kelly
September 5, 2019
I was fortunate to work for, then with, Steve for 25 years. It is not enough to say I owe my career to him. I admired his ability as a lawyer second to none, a distinction that was unquestionably deserved. Steve's passing is an incredible loss to his family, to his friends inside and outside his firm, to his colleagues and to the community he did so much to support. Bertha and Fritz, Mollie and I are very sad for your loss and offer our sincerest condolences. We are thinking of you, and offer any support we can give.
Tim Gosselin
Tim Gosselin
September 5, 2019
Steve Fitzer, a gentleman lawyer.
Michelle Sparks
September 3, 2019
I had the pleasure of being on the other side of cases to Steve. Although he was a tough litigator, he was kind and generous. I learned a lot from him.
September 3, 2019
Steve was always a friend and mentor to me over the years. He was a brilliant and hilarious colleague who was always ready with help or humor or both. Truly...a gentleman and a fine lawyer. The world and the lawyers of this state will miss him.
Thomas Brown
September 2, 2019
I'm having a very hard time processing the news of Steve Fitzer's death. He was my boss for many years and one of the good guys. I loved him. A great attorney with integrity and civility and a terrific sense of humor, Steve cared about people, his clients and especially his family. This is a huge loss for the legal community. My heart goes out to his wife Bertha and son Fritz and to all of the folks, like me, who knew and loved him. He will be remembered fondly and missed terribly. My heart is very heavy.
Jody Doty
September 2, 2019
Steve was a favorite of many court reporters and videographers. He was certainly a favorite of this videographer. Court reporters loved him for never talking too fast or too soft. He often found a way to get my name in the transcript by mentioning me while on the record. This always made me smile. Through the many many years I've known Steve he never failed to ask how I was doing and always called me "Buddy" which made me feel special. When working in his office he would make a point to say "hi" even if he wasn't part of the dep that day. Always offering to help myself to the cooler if I wanted something to drink. And the offer often came with a joke about beer. I'll miss our conversations about kids and family and how long we've been in the business. I'll miss Steve's sense of humor. I'll miss Steve's kindness and thoughtfulness. Truly, a really good guy who I considered a friend. I'll always remember his voice in my headphones. My heart goes out to Bertha, their son and to the attorneys and staff at F2VM.
TJ Peitz
September 1, 2019
Steve took me under his big wing in 1981, and taught me more about how to conduct myself as a trial lawyer than any other person. He was always available to me when I had legal issues that challenged me, even after I moved away from Washington decades ago. I have no reason to think that he singled me out for special treatment, so I assume that he treated many younger and less experienced defense attorneys in the same fashion.

Steve's concern and support extended well past my profession. He came to know my family, and was always concerned and interested in their well-being. He wasn't happy when I chose to depart Washington but, once he recognized it was in my family's best interests, he made it clear that he would do anything in his power to support my move.

I consider myself very fortunate to have studied under him, and enjoyed his friendship and support for almost 40 years.

My thoughts have been and remain with Bertha and Fritz.

Wm. Rinaudo Phillips
Wm. Rinaudo Phillips
September 1, 2019
To my friend. I will miss you greatly
Diane Carr
September 1, 2019
I was sad indeed to see this news of Steve's death.
Steve Fitzer was a trial lawyer of the highest skill, pre-eminent in our State's legal community for his forensic talent and his overall professionalism and integrity.
I am honored to have been able to call myself a colleague of his in the Tacoma/Pierce County and State bar for 43 years.
His contributions to the larger community are also legion. He is going to be deeply missed.
Condolences to Bertha and Fritz and their entire family.
May his memory be everlasting.

Ed Winskill
Ed Winskill
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