On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, Bob Fitzner laid down for the last of many great naps. After a life of adventure, service, love and joyful prodding, he peacefully passed away at his home at Manor House in Seaford.

Robert Edward Fitzner was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 12, 1940. He was the youngest of his siblings, Helen Antonucci, Joseph Ficzner and Dorothy South, and the last living child of the late Joseph and Margaret Bajzer Ficzner. Bob’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary in the early 1900s, and their home was one rich with Hungarian traditions — and foods — that Bob, his siblings and their families have kept alive. Mom Fitzner’s dishes were famous, as were her recipes… recounted differently to anyone who asked to ensure that the next generation perfect their own variation!    

With a 15 year age gap between Bob and his eldest sibling, he was the baby of the family, the troublemaker and the uncle-meets-big brother to his nephews and nieces. With Uncle Bobby, help was generously given and always just a call away. He was game to lend a hand or an ear, join your bocce team at the family reunion, or to man the grill. He loved his family without end.    

 Bob is survived by his wife and constant partner of 54 years, Wilma Fankhauser Fitzner. Their meeting was the result of a matchmaking waitress, who sat them together when they were separately traveling for business and fate landed them at the same hotel. Bob and Wilma were married in Indianapolis, Indiana on Aug. 19, 1967.  

Upon his passing, Bob left behind three children, Lisa Meyer, Adam Fitzner (Patty) and Danielle Peroni (Michael) and five grandchildren, Erick and Samantha Meyer, Finn Fitzner and Clara and Violet Peroni. Nothing brought him greater joy than to support the passions and successes of his children and grandchildren. He cheered on each competition, game, performance and promotion. He wanted to hear about every travel adventure. He was eager to be part of the magical moments and the mundane. Whether it was a rousing game of Uno, front row seats to the living room concert, building a Lego city on the floor or rooting for your team in the final period of an overtime nail-biter, he brought the same spirit to each. He was just happy to be at the game.  

 Bob made a career with the railroad. After he graduated from Steubenville College in Ohio, he went to work for the New York Central Railroad. After 32 years and three organizational transitions, he retired from his work with the railroad at 55.  

Retirement didn’t slow him down at all. Bob was always busy – and kept Wilma busy too as his sidekick and Chief Bob-ministrative Officer.  He ran a rototilling business in the summers. He volunteered with the Cecilton Lions, Knights of Columbus and Lower Cecil County Senior Citizens. He took cooking classes. He played a mean game of dominoes and hand-and-foot.  He was active in the churches in each town where he lived – Holy Rosary in Claymont, Del.; St. Dennis in Galena, MD; St. Rose of Lima in Chesapeake City, MD; and Our Lady of Lourdes in Seaford. He drove his Amish neighbors to their various appointments. He traveled the world, eager to see and learn something new.     

 Bob’s light will be missed. He made friends easily, quick with a joke, ready with a compliment and easy with a hand to help. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you he was a serious character. They’re right. Everyone who’s met him has a Bob story.  

 A mass to celebrate Bob’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on June 18 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Seaford. For those who cannot attend in person, the mass will be live streamed at www.facebook.com/OLLSeafordDE. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who Bob supported throughout his life, or the Manor House Employee Appreciation Fund, to recognize the incredible staff who made Bob’s last year of life a delight. 

Send donations to  Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan Residence, 185 Salem Church Road, Newark, DE 19713 or Manor House Employee Appreciation Fund, 1001 Middleford Road, Seaford, DE 19973.