Robert Thomas Fitzsimmons
Robert Thomas Fitzsimmons
  • May 14, 1933 - November 15, 2017
  • Wilmington, North Carolina

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Robert Thomas (Bob) Fitzsimmons, 84, of Wilmington died Wednesday, November 15, 2017. He was born May 14, 1933 to John Fitzsimmons and Adelaide Weigelt Fitzsimmons in Fulton, NY.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers John Fitzsimmons and Richard Fitzsimmons.
After serving in the US Navy for two years, Bob then completed studies to become a teacher, eventually earning a master's degree in education. Over his 30 year teaching career he taught grades three through twelve and an occasional college course. The majority of his teaching was in high school social studies.
As a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Bob taught the children of US servicemen stationed in Italy, Germany, England, Japan and Newfoundland, Canada. It was in Naples, Italy that he met his wife Barbara (Bobbi). Together they took advantage of living abroad, packing their tent each summer for a new adventure. They took sailing lessons in Germany, skied each winter in Switzerland, and attended cooking school in France. When their son Van was born, he joined them on these far-flung adventures.
Bob's sense of humor was legendary among his students, the faculty of schools where he worked, and among all who knew him. He loved to give speeches and would do so with the slightest encouragement, most notably for the Overseas Federation of Teachers of which he was a founding member. He created two politically incorrect "Overseas Coloring Books" in support of the OFT. His literary endeavors also included writing poetry and a quirky restaurant review column.
While teaching in Wiesbaden, Germany, Bob was also a cross country coach and sponsor of the school's Model United Nations team which competed every year in The Hague. His adventurous spirit led him to apply for the original NASA Teacher in Space program.
Bob was kind, compassionate, and generous but it is his humor, his eyebrows, and his dedication as a teacher to make learning both fun and meaningful for which he'll be remembered by so many.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Fitzsimmons; son Van Robert Fitzsimmons and his wife Angela (McHugh) of Virginia Beach, VA; and by his grandson Micah Robert Fitzsimmons, also of Virginia Beach.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.