OBITUARY

Dr. Richard H. Fitton Jr.

20 June, 192912 July, 2021

Dr. Richard Howorth Fitton Jr., age 92, of Westport Harbor, died Monday, July 12, 2021. He was the husband of the late Elizabeth “Betty” (Danyluk) Fitton.

Born in Fall River on June 20, 1929, son of the late Richard H. Fitton Sr. and Helen (Crapo) Fitton, he attended the former Highland Grammar School, Morton Jr. High, graduated from Moses Brown in 1947, Harvard College, class of 1950 and Boston University Medical School in 1954. After an internship at the Beverly Hospital in Massachusetts and upon completion of a 3 year residency in Otolaryngology at Columbia/Presbyterian Hospital in New York City in 1958, Dr. Fitton served as chief of Otolaryngology at the 3320th U.S. Air Force Hospital in Amarillo, TX for 2 years.

Returning to his home town of Fall River in 1960, Dr. Fitton opened his Otolaryngology practice in the Truesdale Clinic where he also served as President for many years and retired after 51 years in 2011. He was also active on the medical staffs of the former Truesdale, Union, Charlton Memorial, St. Anne’s and Fall River General Hospitals. He was the founding president of the Same Day Surgicare on Stanley St and served in that capacity for 20 years. He performed the first stapedectomy in Fall River for hearing loss, subsequently restoring hearing to hundreds of patients in S.E. Mass. with Otosclerosis. Dr. Fitton was the first Fall River physician to perform a laryngectomy for laryngeal cancer, and he performed over 15,000 tonsillectomies without a serious complication – a statistic which he was very proud.

Dr. Fitton was a member of the Fall River Medical Society, a 50+ year member of the Mass Medical Society, the American Medical Society, the Massachusetts and New England Societies of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, was a Diplomat of the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.

An avid golfer, duplicate bridge player, and sword fisherman, he was a member of the Acoaxet and Elephant Rock Beach Clubs of Westport, a life member of the Harvard Club of Boston and with his late wife was a frequent world traveler.

He is survived by 3 daughters from his first marriage to the late Betty (Wilde) Fitton: Betsy Cummings and Polly Culbreth of Westport and Susan Roth of Corona Del Mar, CA, 9 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 2 nephews and 1 niece. He was the brother of the late Lois Cooper.

A private burial will be held at Beech Grove Cemetery in Westport. There will be no visitation at Dr. Fitton’s request. A celebration of life will be held a later date to be announced. Contributions in his honor may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445. For tributes, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com

Services

  • A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memories

Dr. Richard H. Fitton Jr.

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wendy merriman

7 August 2021

Dick was a loyal ,brave ,good friend
Our tennis dinners will not be the same without him for sure
In peace and love
Wendy

Joan Fournier

19 July 2021

Rip Dr. Fitton a memorable person, wonderful to all who knew him. I worked at Charlton Memorial in the operating room and working with him was a great day. He was skilled at his calling and a wonderful person to work with. That was many moons ago and you don't forget the great ones. Joan Fournier

William E. O'CONNOR

18 July 2021

We will all miss his character and personality, after his long full life, and overcoming and surviving three deadly cancers. I will surely miss his friendship and him as a colleague. He deserves to rest in peace

Pamela Medeiros

15 July 2021

Dr. Fitton: was one of the "Best" Dr's in Fall River; had great experience with his surgery on both my boys for removal of their tonsils. He was kind, thoughtful, and very sympathetic with a very nervous mother having her two sons operated on the same day, & in recovery side by side in their cribs.....very patient Gentleman. Sending Condoleces to his daughters & family. "HE was one of the "BEST"! Pamela Medeiros

Don Ramsbottom

15 July 2021

A caring, understanding and wonderful person and physician. We had many experiences together including Red Sox and every Patriot home game, many Super Bowl extravaganzas, sword fishing, and just plain friendship for most of our lives.

Don Ramsbottom

Cindy Brown

15 July 2021

My condolences to Betsy and family. May your father rest in peace and may your memories bring you comfort and peace also.

Lucille Rockett

15 July 2021

My father, Robert Phenix, would often speak about his friend, Dick Fitton, in regards to their membership in the Rotary Club of Fall River. I remember his fondness for his dear friend and how they always sat at the same table with other senior members. Dad passed away in 2000 at the age of 89 and, I will bet, will be welcoming his friend once again as Dr Fitton becomes a new member of heaven.

Susan Maloney

14 July 2021

Our heartfelt condolences in the loss of a wonderful man. Dick was always gracious and generous with his kindness, and his gentle nature to all. He was a true gentleman who valued friendship and love of family. We were honored to know him. RIP dear friend.

Susan and Keith Maloney
Bristol, RI

Joe Feitelberg

14 July 2021

Dick was a special friend in every way. The courage he displayed in the last years of his life was his hallmark. Although his physical appearance changed dramatically his attitude and mind were clearly unaffected. He was always delighted to hear from you and remained his positive self.

He was the ultimate Fall Riverite who was forever proud and supportive of his hometown. He was a skilled scientist who also had unusual entrepreneurial business skills. He was ahead of the curve when he finally established his own surgicenter.

Driving his car to almost anywhere demonstrated the he was a “man on the move”.

He relished the life he lived and right to the end he had unusual clarity about any subject that he discussed.

He was a superb and cherished friend who will be both missed and fondly remembered!

From the Family
From the Family