Poem: That Man is a Success...
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Richard J. (Dick) Fitton was born April
18, 1927 in Hamilton and became one of the city’s most beloved residents.
He graduated from Hamilton High School in 1945 and then from Ohio State
University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Agriculture in
1950. In 1961, he graduated from the Wisconsin School of Banking.
Dick Fitton proudly served in the United States Navy
on the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Hornet CV-12 from 1945 to 1946. (Read a
recollection from one of his fellow crewmen, Ray
Brockman, Seaman, First Class.)
Dick's prestigious business career
began in 1950 at Prudential Insurance Company. In 1952 he joined First
National Bank and Trust Company and served as Branch Manager at the Main
Street Office from 1953 to 1960. In 1965, he became Executive Vice President
for First National Bank and Trust Company. Just one year later, was named
President and Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank and Trust
From 1980 to 1991, Dick was President and Chief Executive
Officer of First National Bank of Southwestern Ohio and First Financial
Bancorp. Between 1991 and 1992, he was Chairman of First National Bank
of Southwestern Ohio and Chairman and Chief Executive officer of First
Financial Bancorp. Then, in 1992, he was named Chairman of First National
Bank of Southwestern Ohio and First Financial Bancorp and remained in
that position until April of 1997.
Dick Fitton was instrumental in many initiatives
and projects throughout Butler County, as well as serving as a member
and chair of numerous community organizations. (View a list of civic
activities in which he was involved.)
For his tireless service to the community, Dick received
a number of honors and awards, including the following:
- 1965: Named Hamilton Jaycee Outstanding Young Man of the Year
- 1967: Received Boss of the Year Award
- 1979, 1980, 1983, and 1984: Selected as one of
the Top 25 Most Influential Citizens of Hamilton, by The Hamilton
- 1989: Inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Ohio Eighth Congressional
Award Council Junior Achievement of Hamilton and Vicinity
- 1990: Named Citizen of the Year in 1990 by the Hamilton Chamber of
Commerce. (View a full listing of Honors and Awards.)
Mr. Fitton was recognized by the Fairfield Sun as one of the
most outstanding contributors to progress in the Hamilton-Fairfield community
and also received the I Care Award from the City of Hamilton.
Along with his business and community service,
Mr. Fitton stressed the importance of family. He was proud of his three
sons and their wives; Jim and Sue, Tom and Eileen, and Sam and Terri;
and his granddaughters Sarah, Emily and Hope. He married Rebecca Pott
in November of 2000 and was the brother of John Fitton and Mary F. Fiore.
He is survived by Martha Jane Spain, mother of his sons.