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C. Robert "Bob" Fitch
C. Robert “Bob” Fitch, 76, of Cortland, NY, passed away on Monday, April 19, 2021, at his home, while surrounded by his family.
Born in Cortland, NY, on July 27, 1944, Bob was the son of the late Charles George Fitch and Cora Barker Fitch. He was a member of the Marathon United Methodist Church. A 1962 graduate of Marathon Central School, he remained active throughout the years with his classmates. He proudly served in the U.S. Army and the National Guard for 22 years. He had also worked for several years at Smith-Corona and as a self-employed electrical engineer. He was a member of the Marathon Historical Society and worked many years as a volunteer for the Marathon Maple Festival. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family, relaxing at the Orwell farm, and later in life, traveling the world.
He is survived by his wife, together for 33 years, Dawn Ingrahm-Fitch; his children, Charles Fitch II of Cortland and Carrie Fitch of Houston, TX; and his stepchildren, Dustin Beaudoin of Cortland and Kristi Beaudoin of Ithaca. He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Arianna, Jaden, Xander, Deakin, Mazon, and Ryker; a great-grandson, Amari; sisters, Mary Ann Tamm of Plano, TX and Martha DeMond of Kansas City, KS; a brother, Ray Fitch of Cortland; a cousin, Ron Fitch of Honolulu, HI; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will be present to receive friends at the Marathon Memorial Chapel, 4071 State Route 221, Marathon, NY, on Friday, April 30, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. NY State Covid-19 guidelines will be followed. Masks must be worn and social distancing will be in place. Memorial services for Bob will be private. Burial, with military honors, will be in Marathon Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Bob may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Bob Fitch Memorial Tribute
For a brother known for his caring, love, and giving ways. His Unforgettable moniker when answering the phone for decades was hard worker.
Our father and mother taught us and Bob to practice the importance of family. His strongest bond was Ron. This bond was as great or greater than a bond with brothers with Ron. When Bob and Ron were 20 years old they planned a hike in army fatigues, from the Smith farm in Freetown to the Hilton farm near Pulaski NY - Voohrea, NY. Bob and Ron walked the off-highway/ back way, out of site, cross-country. This was difficult terrain being off the road and I believe they wore combat boots. By the time they got to Syracuse which is approximately a43.9 miles, they had blisters on their feet. Ron contacted a friend in Syracuse,NY who willing gave them a ride to the farmhouse in Voohrea,NY. The trip from Freetown to Voohrea, NY is 82.2 miles. Can you imagine?
Bob was born in 1944 when we were living in Moravia. Actually he wasn't born at Cortland Sanatorium. He was born on a curve on the way to the hospital that was half-way between Moravia and Cortland.
When Bob was just months old, a kerosene stove malfunctioned in the front room in our Moravia apartment. The smoke was so bad Bob was almost killed. That was the last of any unwatched kerosene stove in the front room. The stove was only used and watched, confined to the bathroom to warm the bathroom for a tub bath.
When Bob was about 7 years old, he was at the neighboring farm, the Atkins Farm, when they were filling the silo. When we were children we were forbidden to leave our Farm property so Bob wasnt where he was supposed to be. While at the Atkins Farm, Bob was watching as the men fed the corn stalks into the cutter that were then blown into the silo. When the men left the corn cutter chopper, Bob decided to try putting corn stalks in the cutter-chopper. Only when he put the corn stalk in, he didn't let go of the stalk. As his arm went into the corn cutter-chopper it shredded the skin off his arm from his wrist to his elbow. The Machine stalled.
When Mr Atkins returned to the room with the corn cutter-chopper, he saw Bob. Then Mister Atkins seated Bob in his truck. Then he drove him the half-mile to our farmhouse. He left Bob in the truck and went to the door to tell our mother. Then he immediately drove him and my mother to the hospital. Bob was there for weeks, over a month. He made the newspaper with a picture..
He was lucky he didn't lose his arm or his life. Bob was to believe that my father sold the Lovell farm and moved to Freetown corners because of this accident.
Because I was older, I began the shoveling of s*** in the barn in Freetown corners. However when Bob was only as early as 9 years old, he had to take my place. He didn't like that chore and reminded me how lucky I was to just have household chores like vacuuming, clothes washing, and dishes.
I thought our father was the most wonderful man and father and he was very principled and strict. However, this saddened me. I knew that my father wouldn't give me a ride for after-school activities. I had to take the bus. There were no sports, no brownies, no visits to friends after school for me. That seems all right for a girl but for a guy not to have a ride home from School after Sports is a big deal. I realized that in later years.
Bob had to walk home after his soccer practice, no matter the rain, snow, or fair weather. It was almost 6 miles from Marathon to Freetown Corners after every soccer practice. Sometimes once or twice a mom, about two miles out of town, saw him walking in the snow on a cold day . She gave him a ride once going that way and then other times gave him a ride out of empathy. Only years later, did this mother, Mrs Cree, realize that this was her daughter's Pattis classmate.
When Ray was born in 1955 we lived in Freetown corners. About 1957, we moved to the Smith Farm. I left for college in 1958. Then Bob has a heavy load of doing most of the chores at the farm. Dad worked as a mechanic and go-getter at Gutchess Lumber Company .
When Ray was about 8 years old, Bob decided Ray could help him. Bob had to load the bales on the wagon and then had a time-consuming task of loading a bale, then jumping into the stopped truck to pull the wagon forward to the next bale.
Bob decided Ray, only nine years old, could help by driving the truck that pulled the wagon forward while he was running alongside tossing on the bales. Bob wouldnt have to move the stopped truck, Ray could continually drive. Since Ray couldn't reach the accelerator, Bob tied a big block to the accelerator. Ray could forward the truck and wagon alongside the wind rows. But Ray couldn't turn and reposition the truck and wagon at the end of each wind row. That meant at each end of the field, Bob had to run ahead, grab the steering wheel, and turn the truck and wagon at each wind row. Bob never, never told my father of this escapade. Neither did Ray, that we know.
Bob was a hero-trooper when it came to taking care of our mother. Our mom had to be close to a hospital in her later years. Even though Mary Ann and Ray were extremely generous to her and cared for her where she could be close to the farm, it was much better at Bobs to be a couple of blocks to the hospital.
Bob was even relatively strict with her, about her medications, doing therapy and walking up and down the stairs. Mom never said anything about Bob being a strict and demanding son. She did her best to follow what he said to do. Mom was super considerate of her sons who like walked on water.
One time, she was about to be released from the hospital the following day. Bob checked with therapy about whether or not she could do up and down steps. When the therapist didn't consider it a priority, he informed them that he wouldn't accept her out of the hospital until she could walk up and down the stairs. They complied.
Besides the memories with Bob of holidays and butchering, my favorite moment together with Bob was when we did a hike down the gorge behind Aunt Ermas house. Carrie was there. Trey, Rebecca and Erin and Darryl, Jordan and Griffin agreed to go down the gorge from behind Aunt Ermas to our Grandmothers house at the corner of Rt 11 and Galatia Street. About summer, 2019.
For Bob and I, it was a steep and difficult trek. We had walking canes for balance. We had to cancel the continued walk from the Gorge behind aunt Erma's to Grandmother's house. The stones were so slippery. it was dangerous. If we fell down , they could never get Bob or I out of the Gorge.
While in the gorge, they were able to go up a tributary, a side trip, and were very impressed. It was as we believed they would be. We had such a great, enjoyable, exciting and memorable time.
Incidentally, we went to Riley's afterwards for eats. We reminisced and told our waitress, a stranger, about graduating from School in Marathon. We said our names,at the time, were Fitch. Then she said her grandmother's name was Fitch. Believe it or not, on that day we ate with Cheryl, (waitresss grandmother), Jordan (waitresss mother) and Erica (17 year old daughter and the waitress). That was a glorious coincidence, never planned. Very exciting event to go with our previous adventure in the gorge.
The treasures of Bob's life were his children, grandchildren, and the first of the four Fitchs to have a great-grandson, Amari. It was an extremely special bond between Chipper and Carrie. Nothing, he enjoyed more than the times with Chipper and Carrie.
He went to Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, Europe and other places when Carrie went on her six-month World Wide tour. He was so proud of his bargaining on a rug in Turkey. When this awesome rug arrived and went down in Bobs family room, everyone had to take their shoes off when they came in the door. You'd better pray for your life, if you dared walk on that rug with your shoes on.
Bob told terrific tales of his visits with Carrie to Argentina and many stories of his experiences with Carrie in Russia.
He was so proud of granddaughter, Anni. She graduated early when she hadn't shown much interest in high school or graduating, possibly quitting after her Junior year. I believe he gave her a generous financial gift because he was so proud of her graduating. He was also proud of her success in California following graduation.
Bob was also very proud of Jaden - Bear and his outstanding abilities in sports, especially football and academics. We heard a narrative for every football game that Jaden was in and sometimes the newspaper coverage of his success.
There was no greater thrill to Bob than when Chipper, Jaden, Anni and her son Amari came to visit him in his last month's. He was blessed and proud of Carrie, Chipper, Bear, Anni and Amari.
Bob was very generous. Besides gifts to children of nieces and nephews at graduation, Bob paid for Maple Leafs in Marathon Historical Society at about a hundred and fifty a family, for himself, Martha and Greg, Ray and MaryAnn and Ed and myself. Each Maple Leaf was a very generous surprise.
Bob loved black cherries and prided himself on healthy eating of fruit. He had Dawn sneak him in some fruit which he was deviously eating in quantity. The doctor was trying different medications at the time and was stumped as to why they weren't working. Casually, and probably innocently, Bob mentioned his extreme eating of fruit. Then the doctor realized it was this extreme eating of fruit that was countering the benefits of his medicine. Bob had to give up his extreme eating of fruit.
I won't detail some of his trucks that I drove except to say, they were unsafe for me to drive, even though I never had an accident because of questionable brakes. I thought it was scary. it was an unsafe problem. Bob never gave his trucks a second thought as being unsafe.
Bob loved it up on the farm in Pulaski and the 4th of July reunions at Dessa and Bill's. The beams on the farmhouse in Voorhea, 26 New Scriba Drive, were disintegrating. If not replaced, the house would collapse. The roof was also leaking so that furniture and flooring inside the house were being ruined from the leaking. Bob took on an impossible task with some help. He managed to revitalize the house so it was inhabitable for the long term.
He was weekly or bi-weekly mowing the lawn at the farm after Uncle Don and Aunt Irma couldn't do it. Now, I don't know if there is anyone who will continue to upkeep the farmhouse, great Gramma Hiltons farmhouse, in Voorhea.
One thing I wanted to do with Bob and put off was a walk-on a woodlot up near the farm in Voohrea. I regret that that will never happen.
We thank Dawn for all the 33 years of relationship she brought to Bob. We have much gratitude for your astounding care of him in his most difficult and painful months. Most of the time, although tired, he really tried to talk and sounded upbeat for the many months of hardships. You, Dawn, performed a miracle in getting him out of the nursing home. We are very thankful.
Bob has been a very caring, loving, generous person. We are all blessed by knowing Bob. He would talk for long times on the phone with me. We will miss him greatly. We mourn his passing and celebrate his life and Legacy that blessed us so.
Love Mary Ann and Ed
Mary Tamm Apr 27 2021 12:00 AM
Just the best uncle one could ask for and taught me many things and showed me
many good times and good food. Love and miss you Uncle Bob. Love Darryl Tamm.
Darryl Tamm Apr 23 2021 12:00 AM
We are saddened by our family loss of Bob he was a man of many interest and and we will miss his love of life and all he did to help others and his family as cousins we have so many memories as family was most important .God Bless you Dawn for making his life happy at his end.Rest in peace Bonnie and family Jeanne and family Joe and family
Bonnie Henry Apr 21 2021 12:00 AM