CALAIS — Stanley Harry Fitch and Elaine Ellen Bullock Fitch were married for 71 years and continued their journey together on August 30, 2022. Thanks to Vermont’s Death with Dignity law, Elaine and Stan died peacefully at home at the time of their choosing. They were surrounded by family who shared memories, tears, laughter, and love and gratitude for one another.
Stanley was born on July 25, 1923, in the farmhouse in Calais where he spent his entire life. He carried on the tradition of his parents, Clyde and Mattie Fitch, as a dairy farmer. In the mid-1950s, Stan was awarded Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. An active community member, he served as selectman, justice of peace and on several boards including Act 250 Environmental Commission, Robinson Sawmill Association, Maple Corner Community Club and Adamant Cooperative Store. As Mr. March, he was the oldest man in the infamous Men of Maple Corner calendar. He treasured his memories of calling dances at Camp Comfort on Curtis Pond and around the state. At the age of 99, when Stan was asked the secret to his long life, he said, “I had a good companion.”
Elaine was born on July 31, 1929, to Mildred and Raymond Bullock of Calais. She held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johnson State College. A beloved educator, she served primarily in Barre City Schools as teacher and principal. She was involved in the National Education Association and served on the board of Planned Parenthood. Elaine was especially proud that she and Stan served on the first committees to create U32 Jr/Sr High School. Elaine toured the Soviet Union and spent a summer painting landscapes in Umbria, Italy (by herself). A lifelong learner, she studied multiple languages, drawing and painting, becoming an accomplished artist.
As a couple, Stan and Elaine traveled extensively throughout Europe on educational tours. Together they ran the Fitch House Bed and Breakfast and, whether traveling or hosting guests, made lasting friendships. They were both voracious readers with deep interests in history, current events and political issues. They were early supporters of civil unions. Growing up during the Depression, they continually evolved with the times (educated by their three daughters!). Their acceptance and kindness led to many deep connections that transcended generations; in many ways they were the heart of the community.
Proud to be their progeny and extended family are daughters Donna Fitch, Diane Fitch and Judith Fitch Robert and their partners John McCullough, Carol Simmons, Bernard Robert. They were engaged and supportive grandparents to Mattie (Jordan), Robin, Porter (Joely), Hollister, Luca, Liam and Renee; and great grandchildren Julien and Pippin. Cousins, nieces and nephews also held a special place in their hearts.
The incredible support our family received from Central VT Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) and Twin Valley Senior Center (TVSC) Meals on Wheels (Fred!) allowed Stanley and Elaine to remain in their home and their daughters to remain sane. We feel especially deep gratitude to caregivers Laura Atkinson, Sherill Goldthread and Wendy Blakeman who provided expert care and loving companionship.
A memorial celebration is being planned for Sunday, September 25, with details to be announced.
Donations in their memory may be made to CVHHH, 600 Granger Rd, Barre 05641; TVSC, 4583 US Rte 2, E. Montpelier 05651; or Robinson Sawmill, PO Box 94, Calais 05648.