James Edwards Fitzharris, known as “Fitz” by his friends, passed away at his home in Hollister on Monday July 14, 2008 at the age of 63. He was surrounded by family and the animals that he loved so much. He was preceded in death by his mother Mildred Marie Weferling Fitzharris and his father Edward James Fitzharris.
From an early age, his love of the outdoors and equine shined through with his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America and Southern Marin Horsemen’s Association.
Born in San Francisco, he attended Abraham Lincoln High School and City College of San Francisco. He served in the United States Navy from 1965-1975 and was stationed at NSGA Hanza, Okinawa, Japan as well as NGSA Agualva, Terceira, Azores, Portugal.
While in the Navy he developed a life long passion for SCUBA Diving, which led him to become an Assistant Dive Instructor.
Once discharged from the Navy James went to work for ESL/TRW (now Northrup Grumman), where he has been employed for last 33 years.
Anyone that has come in to contact with him knows he has a deep love for cooking and entertaining. Often a person’s first impression of him was made through his cooking extravaganzas. He had a motto when it came to cooking; “You never have enough, until there is too much.” This motto also highlights his much appreciated sense of humor.
James was an active member of the Pine Ridge Volunteer Assoc. at Henry Coe State Park where he enjoyed using his outdoor cooking talents. He loved to cook things that people would never expect or consider making in the back country wilderness.
In addition to his wife Gwen Schlemmer, James is survived by his children Christian Carl Fitzharris, of Las Vegas, NV and Sean Patrick Fitzharris and wife, Francisca, of Hollister, CA
James’ cremated remains will be scattered at sea in a private family ceremony.