B. Michael FitzsimonsDecember 12,2013
B. Michael Fitzsimons
B. Michael Fitzsimons
BODEGA BAY, Calif. — Mike Fitzsimons passed away peacefully on Nov. 30, 2013, at his home in Bodega Bay at the age of 74.
He was born in Montpelier, Vt., the son of Bernard and Esther Fitzsimons.
He graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont in 1961. After college, he moved to New York to work in advertising, where he met his future wife, Dona. In February, they marked their 50th wedding anniversary.
In 1965, Mike received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and began a long and successful career as a marketing and business executive, eventually serving as a president, board member and outside consultant for numerous companies.
In 1971, Mike and Dona and their two children moved to Modesto, Calif., where he worked for E&J Gallo Winery. In the years that followed, he helped lead a wide variety of businesses, but the wine industry remained a central and beloved part of his career for more than four decades. He resigned the last of his board positions just a few weeks before his death from pancreatic cancer.
For most of those years, he lived in Sonoma County, first in Santa Rosa and then in Bodega Bay. He loved to start the day with a barefoot run on Doran Beach and to end it with a glass of red wine, watching the sun set over Bodega Head. His friends and family will remember him for his loyalty, intellect and quick wit.
He is survived by his wife, Dona Fitzsimons; his daughter, Susan Lyon; his son-in-law, Mark Lyon; his son, Matt Fitzsimons; and his three grandchildren, Nick Lyon, Jake Lyon and Natalie Fitzsimons.
At his request, there will be no public service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Michael Fitzsimons Endowments (made payable to UC Davis Foundation), which provide graduate and undergraduate support for students interested in careers as business leaders within the wine industry. Gifts may be mailed to UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Development and External Relations, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, or call 530-752-3117 for more information.
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