Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rockwell Executive Was a Fixture in Philanthropic Community Aug. 31, 1933 - Oct. 17, 2019

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rockwell Executive Was a Fixture in Philanthropic Community Aug. 31, 1933 - Oct. 17, 2019

Article excerpt

Whether it was using his corporate expertise to help to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., establishing a scholarship fund for students to attend his local Catholic school or just stuffing money into the mailbox of a needy neighbor, Bill Fitz was an empathetic man who rarely turned his back on a good cause.

"He truly believed he was his brother's keeper," said his son Adam Fitz, of Beaver.

A longtime executive with Rockwell International and fixture of the local philanthropic community, Mr. Fitz, 86, of Mt. Lebanon, died Oct. 17 of complications from prostate cancer.

Mr. Fitz grew up in Carrick, serving as class president and head of the debate team at St. Basil High School, where he graduated in 1951. That summer, he headed to Sacramento, Calif., accepting an offer from his uncle to organize payroll and accounting at a construction firm.

After a car accident, Mr. Fitz took an accounting and finance job at Rust Engineering Co. in Cincinnati, where he met Patricia Clark. He was transferred to the company's Pittsburgh office just after the couple wed in 1955.

As their family grew to include eight children, Mr. Fitz took night accounting classes at Duquesne Universitty and the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1965, he landed a job at North American Rockwell. But it was Mr. Fitz's brutal honesty that ended up changing his career trajectory at Rockwell, a major aerospace and defense contractor.

Mr. Fitz realized his job probably could be done more efficiently by someone else and presented his findings to founder Willard Rockwell Sr.

"He wrote himself out of a job, and that's what endeared him to Mr. Rockwell," his son said. "He was so impressed that he made my father his personal assistant."

Before he retired in 1997, Mr. Fitz rose to become vice president of public affairs and philanthropy for Rockwell International and also served as chief administrator of the Rockwell Foundation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.