Monday, April 12, 2004

Civic leader to be honored via Web site



By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - People from across Butler County - or around the world - soon will be able to pay tribute to philanthropist Richard J. Fitton on a website in his honor.

The civic leader and retired banker died March 14 at his Ross Township home. He was 76.

Some of the tributes posted at the website will be part of the printed program at a memorial service, open to the public, at 2 p.m. April 25 at Hamilton High School.

Friends and family have asked those planning to attend "A Public Celebration of the Life of Richard J. Fitton" to make a reservation through the website so they can make necessary accommodations for the ceremony and reception. The Web site is: www.ham.muohio.edu/fitton.

Among those presenting tributes at the service will be his widow, Rebecca, and son, Jim; cousin Cy Fitton from California; and businessmen Joel Schmidt and Frank Pfirman.

Fitton died in his sleep due to heart failure, said Dr. Richard Burkhardt, Butler County coroner. Fitton's death was not related to his fall from a tractor at his farm five days earlier, Burkhardt said.

The former chairman of the First Financial Bancorp, and its predecessor, the First National Bank of Southwestern Ohio, worked behind the scenes on the low-level dam, Hamiltonian Hotel, downtown railroad underpass, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Columbia Bridge and Miami University Hamilton branch and many other projects.

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E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com




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