Emery Louis Fitts was born on 11/28/1924 in San Diego to Elizabeth O. Merkel Fitts and Emery L. Fitts (Sr.). Emery spend his childhood in California and in 1942 graduated from San Diego High school at age 17. Soon after, he started his Pacific Telephone career as an installer. In the fall of 1942, Emery was drafted into the Army. In addition to training and working as an aircraft mechanic, Emery became a bombardier in the Army Air Corps and flew many missions to Japan, Guam, and the Philippines.
In 1946, after three years active duty during WWII, Emery returned to his previous job at Pacific Telephone in San Diego. There he met the love of his life, Doris Kreps, and the couple were married on 11/29/1947, the same day as the 25th anniversary of the bride’s parents.
Emery and Doris welcomed four daughters between 1950 and 1959: Linda, Diane, Emily and Rose. Some special family memories include many trips to the beach, night softball games with Frosty ice cream cones afterwards and barbeques in the back yard with Emery in his Chef’s apron and cap. Somehow the entire family weathered the teenage years of multiple daughters during the tumultuous 1960’s and 1970’s!
In 1978, Emery and Doris moved to Iran to support Pacific Telephone (AT &T) expansion of phone service there. Due to their proximity, they were able to travel throughout Europe and also to Russia, which was a great adventure and opportunity to enjoy other cultures and tour many art museums. After the downfall of the Shah with the ensuing political events, they returned home to San Diego in early 1979.
In 1985, Emery retired as a telephone service manager from Pacific Telephone after 42 years of service, but he wasn’t quite finished with his working life. In 1985, he started a new job at a firm near San Francisco, bringing his telephone expertise to the new world of computers and Ethernets. In 1988, Emery retired for good. He and Doris relocated to Eugene, Oregon that year but the siren song of southern California called them back to San Diego in 1998.
Emery loved the arts and classical music and had an exceptional ear. For many pieces of music he could identify the composer, the name of the piece, and sometimes even the conductor and orchestra playing it! Many a time we daughters were called over at home to “listen to this” when on our way elsewhere but in this way Emery passed along his love of music.
Both Emery and Doris were very proud of their daughters and extended family; they were always gracious hosts and glad to see family and friends. We were never allowed to pick up the tab when out to a restaurant with Emery!
After many golden years in retirement, Doris fell ill with dementia and passed away in 2007. Emery and Doris remained in love with each other throughout their 60 years of marriage. In 2009, Emery moved to Frederica Manor in Chula Vista where he enjoyed many activities and new friends.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Fredericka Manor and Butterfly Gardens in La Jolla for the compassionate care that Emery received.
Emery is survived by his four daughters: Linda Fitts of San Diego; Diane Shutt (Mike) of Vista; Emily Hatt (Darrell) of Bremerton, Washington; and Rose Ayars (Charles) of Longmont, Colorado; also grandchildren Bonnie, Ryeland, Justin, Michael, Grace and David; extended family and numerous friends.
According to his wishes, Emery will be cremated. Interment will be with his beloved Doris at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. A private ceremony is to be held later.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to KPBS San Diego Public Broadcasting or the Wounded Warrior Project.
Pat (Kreps) and Tom Sullivan on June 11, 2018