James ‘Jim’ Fitzpatrick
November 10, 2010
James “Jim” Fitzpatrick passed away Oct. 31, 2010 at his daughter’s home in Rifle, Colo. He was 89 years old.
He was known as “Mr. Fitz” to his many students in Aspen and Basalt schools, where he taught English, science, social studies and math.
He was born in Ironwood, Mich. on Aug. 12, 1921 to Sylvester and Frances Fitzpatrick. He met Elva McMahon in Chattanooga, Tenn. while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II. They married April 21, 1944. They moved to Aspen in the summer of 1959 with their three children and lived in a tent for a short while at Difficult Campground.
He started teaching at Aspen schools that fall. In 1963, he moved to the Basalt schools, where he taught until his retirement in 1980. He spent his summer breaks working for the Forest Service. He is preceded in death by daughter Judith (Fitzpatrick) Byrnes, on Aug. 22, 2005, and son Michael Frances, on June 4, 2010. He survived by wife Elva, and daughters, Patricia, Teresa, and Margaret (Peggy) Fitzpatrick.
Jim is most remembered for his ability to tell a great story. There will be a memorial for both Jim and Mike Fitz at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Aspen Elks Lodge. All are encouraged to come by and share a story or two.