John Fitch Memorial – a Sad Goodbye and Celebration of Life

Information and images provided by Michael Brown.

John Fitch was a great man, and when the automotive world lost him at age 95 on October 31st, we lost a legend, mentor, and standup example of what it means to truly live life to the fullest. On December 1st, Fitch was laid to rest near his home in Connecticut, along side his late wife Elizabeth, just a short distance away from Lime Rock Park raceway. Our good friend Michael Brown attended the day’s services, which included a private interment and a public celebration of life for the famous Le Mans Corvette driver. We thank Brown for allowing us to use his experience to pay tribute to Fitch as he takes to his final resting place.

Fitch, as you all well know, was the co-driver of the #3 Cunningham Corvette that swept the GT class in an unexpected victory at the 1960 Le Mans race. As the first time Chevy Corvettes were represented in the race, the brand had a lot to prove and under the talented hand of Fitch and his co-driver Bob Grossman, Corvette took the GT class win and an overall 8th-place finish.

In 2010, Fitch was reunited with the famous Le Mans-winning Corvette for a commemorative lap around the 8.5-mile Le Mans track.

While we know Fitch mostly for his contributions to Corvette Racing, he also carried many other titles. Fitch was a father, World War II fighter pilot, designer, safety advocate and inventor. You can see a detailed look at all of Fitch’s accomplishments in Brown’s tribute video that we brought you in November.

Family and close friends gathered around Fitch's final resting place for a small interment service prior to a larger public service celebrating Fitch's life at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lakeville, Connecticut. Nearly 250 people attended the public service and following reception where everyone swapped stories of Fitch's life.

Near and dear to everyone he ever came in contact with, Fitch was remembered the way a great man should be on December 1st. The service for family and close friends included the interment of both Fitch and his late wife Elizabeth’s cremated remains, as well as a military honor guard, rifle salute and the playing of taps for his service to the country.

Although his professional racing career ended in 1966, Fitch was always up for some great car action and took to the track once more behind the wheel of the famous 1960 #3 Cunningham Corvette in 2010 for a commemorative lap at Le Mans with car owner Lance Miller.

An hour later, family, friends, associates, racing and automotive enthusiasts alike packed the Trinity Episcopal Church of Lakeville, Connecticut for a celebration of Fitch’s life, eulogized by one of Fitch’s sons, John H. Fitch, actor Edward Herrmann, friend Don Klein, and fellow automotive legend Sam Posey.

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Fitch but his memory will forever live on along with all the contributions he made to the industry and the country in his long life.

Our thoughts are with Fitch’s family and friends, and once again we thank Mr. Brown for allowing us to bring Fitch’s memorial to you.

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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