Paul Eric Fitting
Passed away peacefully at age 97 on November 12, 2020 in his home at Masonic Village in Sewickley, PA., His daughter, Lisa, was at his side and his sons, Jeff and Chris, were minutes away, ready to love and support each other, as they all have done during his brief illness.
Paul was born on April 19, 1923 in Yonkers, New York to Lillian Florence Fitting (Ericson) and John Fitting.
Paul was husband, best friend and traveling companion for 70 years to M. Joanna “Jo” Fitting, nee Jackson, who passed away in 2017.
He is survived by his three children, Jeffrey (Andrea), Christopher (Karen) and Lisa (Michael) and by his six grandchildren, Stephanie Fitting, Julia Fitting, Erik Fitting, Alexa Heim, Isaac Schmitt and Aaron Schmitt. Paul is also survived by his nephew Keith Fitting and nieces Wendy Fitting, Pam DeMetruis-Thomas, Gina DeMetruis, Christine DeMetruis.
Paul was preceded in death by his brothers John and Edward and his sister Virginia DeMetruis and her daughter Jill Boulonnois.
A 1941 graduate of Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY, Paul helped build houses and worked building bomb sights for Sperry Gyroscope in Brooklyn before enlisting in the US Marine Corps in 1943. He was assigned to the Marine bomber group VMB 413 and was sent to tiny Stirling Island in the South Pacific to load ordinance on B-25 bombers.
Paul’s older brother John was a Marine Major flying the F4U Corsair in the area and they found each other through a chance encounter. An article with photos of them standing next to John’s plane that appeared in the papers gave proof to their parents that they were both alive and together in the same part of the world.
Following the war, Paul attended Union College in Schenectady, NY where he majored in Humanities and graduated in 1950. Paul was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity and served as President, Vice-President, Rushing Chairman and Social Chairman.
Paul and Jo first met on a date at nearby Skidmore College arranged by a mutual friend and it was love at first sight!
Jo and Paul married in her parents’ home town of Pittsburgh on May 12, 1951 and lived in Fresh Meadows, NY.
Paul worked in sales for Alcoa for 21 years, a job that moved them to Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Birmingham, MI and finally to Pittsburgh’s Alcoa Corporate Design Division. He made a mid-life switch to Design Marketing in 1972 for Paul Planert Design Associates and, later Burt Hill Architects.
Retiring in 1988, Paul and Jo traveled the world together, absorbing everything they could about the art, food and people of different countries.
Paul has served his community as Chairman of Goodwill Industries, Chairman of North Hills Youth Ministry, the Northland Library Foundation and was a member of the Session at Northmont Presbyterian Church.
As early members of the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors Jo and Paul hosted college students from around the world, making life long friends. They were in turn invited to visit a few of them in Norway, France, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia.
Paul and Jo loved the arts and were regular supporters of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Carnegie Museum of Art, to name a few.
Paul’s admiration for owls is widely known. Beginning in the 80’s on a trip to Seattle he spotted a small owl figurine at a shop and bought the first one of a life long collection. He would choose special little owls everywhere he traveled and received many as gifts too. Today the collection covers an entire wall.
Paul was an artistic and creative person who found an outlet in wood carving. Using hand tools inherited from his grandfather, Paul would take a log and chisel away the parts that didn’t belong to create almost a hundred beautiful pieces in every shape and size.
In 2003 Paul and Jo were among the first residents in the Masonic Village retirement community where they enjoyed making new friends and welcoming other newcomers.
Paul helped set up and establish the community’s woodworking shop, donating tools and taking an active role in making it a success.
Paul and Jo presented dozens of slide shows he called “Travel Talks” for the Masonic Village community to share pictures and stories of traveling the world together. His presentations were so popular that repeat performances were often requested.
Paul was an avid reader of biographies of major historical figures and each week he devoured every page of the Economist for its clear-eyed view of American and world events.
Paul always looked forward to cocktail hour followed by dinner with his regular gang of Masonic Village buddies, known as The Bar Flies.
Paul was beloved by all because of his humor, warm smile and his infectious love of life. He will be sorely missed.
Donations in Paul’s honor to WQED FM would be very much appreciated.
A small private memorial is being planned.
To send flowers to Paul's family, please visit our floral store.