James Robert (Jim) Fite Sr. – Obituary

By  | October 27, 2018 | Filed under: Hartsell Heritage Funeral Home, Obituaries

James Robert (Jim) Fite Sr. 93, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, October 25, 2018 surrounded by his family.  He was born January 24, 1925 in Decatur, Alabama to Mae Elizabeth Patterson and William Roy Fite Sr.  Jim graduated Riverside High School in 1942.  While in school he worked as a “soda-jerk” at his dad’s pharmacy and later at Gobble Lumber.  In 1941, he met the love of his life, Beverly Hodges.  While dating Beverly, he began attending services at Grant St. Church of Christ.  He credited his father-in-law, Davis Hodges, for illuminating God’s word over many years of front porch bible study. They would marry on November 8, 1947.   When his older brothers went off to serve in the Naval Construction Battalion  (aka Seabees) in WWII, a young Jim stayed home to help W.M. Gobble keep fledgling Gobble-Fite Lumber Company going.  In 1999, the surviving original owners Jim and brother Jack Fite, Jim Hurst and late owners Roy Fite and W.M. Gobble,  were  honored by being named Small Business Person(s) of the Year by the local Chamber, going on to win on the State level and represent Alabama later that year in Washington DC.  Jim enjoyed his work and it showed in the relationships he built with both customers and employees.  He was known throughout his long career for his broad knowledge of building materials and his ability to work with and relate to his customers.  Jim retired in 2007 at 82.  Jim enjoyed the outdoors with his family.  He spent long hours teaching his children how to fish, water ski and handle a boat.  His best lessons, however, were taught by example.  His priorities of faith and family were obvious to everyone that knew him.  Auburn football and Atlanta Braves weren’t far behind though!

He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 71 years, Beverly Hodges Fite; five children and their spouses:

James Robert Fite Jr. (Sherry), Davis Patterson Fite Sr. (Jane), William Jackson Fite Sr. (Laura) and Dan Sumerville Fite Sr. (Kim) of Decaur, Alabama and Elizabeth Fite Bussey (Andy) of Columbus, Georgia; sixteen grandchildren, James Robert Fite III, (Ruth Ann) of Decatur, Alabama; Robert Benjamin Bussey II (Suzette) of Charleston, South Carolina; Elizabeth Hodges Bussey Newton (David) of Budapest, Hungary; Winston Sellers Fite (Caitlin) of Decatur, Alabama; Kathryn Williams Bussey Filipiak (Reid) of Washington, Georgia; Andrew Nathan Bussey (Rawan) of Jacksonville, Florida; Davis Patterson Fite Jr. (Elise) of San Diego, California; Mary Leigh Fite of New York City, New York; Thomas Phillips Fite (Alexandra) of Lancaster, California; Beverly Burgoyne Fite McClendon (Fuller) of Birmingham, Alabama; Sarah Marriott Fite of Birmingham, Alabama; William Jackson Fite Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia; Dan Sumerville Fite Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee; Beverly Hodges Fite, Kimberly Dawson Fite, and Robert Crawford Fite all of Decatur, Alabama and ten great grandchildren, Mattie Ann Fite and Nancy Leigh Fite of Decatur, Alabama; David Thomas Newton Jr. James Passage Newton, Merritt Hodges Newton, and Emily Ann Newton of Budapest, Hungary; Josephine Fite Filipiak, Edmund Roch Filipiak, and Benamin Reid Filipiak of Washington, Georgia; and Zain Andrew Bussey of Jacksonville, Florida.

Visitation will be Monday October 29, 2018 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm at Grant Street Church of Christ with  funeral following with Alan Watkins officiating. Burial will follow at Decatur City Cemetery. Hartselle Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Pallbearers will be his nine Grandsons:   J. Robert Fite III, Robert Benjamin Bussey II, Winston Sellers Fite, Andrew Nathan Bussey, Davis Patterson Fite Jr., Thomas Phillips Fite, William Jackson Fite Jr., Dan Sumerville Fite Jr. and Robert Crawford Fite.  Honorary Pallbearers will be good friend Charles Riley and the Elders and Deacons of Grant Street Church of Christ.

The family would like to thank caregivers Amie Buford, Jimmie Buford , Debra Vaughn , Sheri Wilson Sandra Green and Jackie Jones for their selfless dedication as well as Dr. Scott Matthews and the staff at Decatur Morgan Hospital for their excellent care.  A special thank you to the Grant Street Church of Christ congregation for the love and friendship throughout the years.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Grant Street Church of Christ or Childhaven Home Cullman, Alabama or your favorite charity.

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