Henry Sheldon Fitch
No services are planned for Henry Sheldon Fitch, 99, Lawrence.
Mr. Fitch died Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Stillwater, Okla.
He was born Dec. 25, 1909, in Utica, N.Y., the son of Chester and Alice T. Chenery Fitch. After a childhood outside Medford, Ore., he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Fitch then worked as a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the San Joaquin Range in California. His career was interrupted by two tours of duty in the U.S. Army during World War II, after which he returned to the San Joaquin Range.
He married Virginia Preston in 1946, and shortly afterward was transferred to Leesville, La. In 1948 he assumed a professorship at Kansas University, where he taught and served as steward of KU’s Natural History Reservation. Although his primary interest was in herpetology, he published papers in community ecology, mammalogy, ornithology and even a book on the spiders of the reservation, illustrated by his own scientific drawings.
Mr. Fitch retired from KU as emeritus professor in 1980 but continued to live and work at the Natural History Reservation until 2006.
Survivors include two sons, John and Chester; a daughter, Alice; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, and three siblings, Chester, Margaret and Ruth.
The family suggests memorials to the Henry S. and Virginia R. Fitch Memorial Fund for the support of the KU Fitch Natural History Reservation through the KU Endowment Association, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be sent at pmcfh.com.