OBITUARY

Robert Thomas Fitzsimmons

May 14, 1933November 15, 2017

Robert Thomas (Bob) Fitzsimmons, 84, of Wilmington died Wednesday, November 15, 2017. He was born May 14, 1933 to John Fitzsimmons and Adelaide Weigelt Fitzsimmons in Fulton, NY. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers John Fitzsimmons and Richard Fitzsimmons. After serving in the US Navy for two years, Bob then completed studies to become a teacher, eventually earning a master’s degree in education. Over his 30 year teaching career he taught grades three through twelve and an occasional college course. The majority of his teaching was in high school social studies. As a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Bob taught the children of US servicemen stationed in Italy, Germany, England, Japan and Newfoundland, Canada. It was in Naples, Italy that he met his wife Barbara (Bobbi). Together they took advantage of living abroad, packing their tent each summer for a new adventure. They took sailing lessons in Germany, skied each winter in Switzerland, and attended cooking school in France. When their son Van was born, he joined them on these far-flung adventures. Bob’s sense of humor was legendary among his students, the faculty of schools where he worked, and among all who knew him. He loved to give speeches and would do so with the slightest encouragement, most notably for the Overseas Federation of Teachers of which he was a founding member. He created two politically incorrect “Overseas Coloring Books” in support of the OFT. His literary endeavors also included writing poetry and a quirky restaurant review column. While teaching in Wiesbaden, Germany, Bob was also a cross country coach and sponsor of the school’s Model United Nations team which competed every year in The Hague. His adventurous spirit led him to apply for the original NASA Teacher in Space program. Bob was kind, compassionate, and generous but it is his humor, his eyebrows, and his dedication as a teacher to make learning both fun and meaningful for which he’ll be remembered by so many. He is survived by his wife Barbara Fitzsimmons; son Van Robert Fitzsimmons and his wife Angela (McHugh) of Virginia Beach, VA; and by his grandson Micah Robert Fitzsimmons, also of Virginia Beach. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memories

Robert Thomas Fitzsimmons

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Sandra Williams

November 29, 2017

I send my heartfelt condolences Dr. Fitzsimmons. Praying for you and your family during this most difficult separation. Mrs. Williams, Morris College

Leslie Nord Kirk

November 28, 2017

Thank you Mr. Fitz. You will be missed. May the Angels wrap their wings around your family to comfort them during this sorrowful time.

Karen Hirschman

November 27, 2017

He was a great teacher and a friend we had the privilege of first meeting in Wiesbaden, Germany. Our oldest daughter, Tracy, used to babysit Van when Bob and Bobbi wanted or needed to go out. He will be missed. Our condolences to his wonderful family.

Pamela McAfee

November 27, 2017

Anytime I am asked who my favorite teacher was, it's always you who pops off my tongue first.
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
--Henry Brooks Adams
Warmth and love to those closest to Mr Fitz. Warriors Love Forever

Alison Wiles Hamlin

November 25, 2017

My heartfelt condolences to the Fitzsimmons family. Mr Fitz was my teacher in high school in Wiesbaden. His love and passion for teaching was motivating and inspiring for everyone around him. I loved his sense of humor! He will be missed and remembered by many. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Gerald Bass

November 20, 2017

Ruhe in Frieden mein Freund.

Gerald Bass

Jackie Dawley

November 19, 2017

Bob, you were an awesome individual. I loved running into you at the coffee shop on Post Road where you used to like to hold forth - chatting, writing haiku poetry, and reading. Who knows what else?
Bobbi, my sincere condolences to you on the loss of such a charming husband. What fun you had together. Cherish those memories and hold them close.

Michael Anderson

November 19, 2017

My heart and prays go out to the Fritz family he was a great man and will be missed RIP

Adrian Poland

November 19, 2017

Barbara...I wish I could be there with you in the sad time....Im sending you a huge hug...from me to you...Bob will remain a kind and generous memory for me....I love you...Adrian

Elisabeth Sandberg

November 18, 2017

Bob cracked me up when he ascertained my character (and approved) based on my bountiful eyebrows. He was a loving, whimsical, talented human being that I wish to have spent more time with. We just lived too far away from each other. Barbara, we'll try to get together more now that we are both retired. My thoughts go out to you and Van and his family. Elisabeth (Long Beach, CA)

FROM THE FAMILY