John Tommy Fitzhugh

August 30, 1938 ~ December 10, 2020 (age 82)


John Tommy “Tom” “Bapa” Fitzhugh, 82, of Huntington Beach, California, passed away on December 10, 2020 in Newport Beach, California.

John was born in Poyen, Arkansas to Gervis Lee Fitzhugh and Gina Gertrude Fitzhugh on August 30, 1938.  He graduated from South Gate High School, South Gate, California in 1956.  In 1959, John married his high school sweetheart, Karon Diane Engstrom and they moved to Huntington Beach, California.  John worked for various outdoor sign companies and was a member of the Southern California Sign Painters and Scenic Artist Union for over 40 years.  A true sportsman, in his youth, John enjoyed playing baseball and basketball and was a local Duncan yo-yo champion.  He was an accomplished bowler, winning individual and team championships.  An avid golfer, John had 2 holes-in-one and enjoyed playing with family and friends.  As a fisherman, he loved teaching his children and grandchildren the art of patience and skill required to catch the “big one”.

John loved his hometown teams.  Growing up in Southern California, he followed and attended many Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Rams games.  John also attended Los Angeles Dodger games at both Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Coliseum.  While living in Denver, Colorado, John became a Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies fan, not missing any Rockies games either in-person or on TV.  He also attended game 7 of the 1996 Stanley Cup win for the Colorado Avalanche.  But his most favorite hometown teams were his son’s and grandchildren.  Showing his love and support, John could always be found attending their team’s games and/or events.  Dad or Bapa was their biggest fan.

He and Karon loved to travel the world with Hawaii, Mexico, Italy and Las Vegas as favorite destinations.  John loved card and parlor games.  He could be found up early in the morning to “test the waters” at the casino blackjack tables.  John was great on the grill and loved good food.  Handy with a hammer and paintbrush, he was often the go-to for family members when projects needed his help and expertise.  John was always a dog owner and enjoyed the companionship of “man’s best friend”. 

John will always be remembered as a kind, generous and loving man.

John is survived by his wife of 61 years Karon Diane Fitzhugh of Huntington Beach, California; son Kevin and daughter in law Debra of Frisco, Texas; son Jeffrey and daughter in law Susan of Huntington Beach, California; grandchildren Sean, Geoffrey, Katherine, Cameron, Jack, Devin and Emma; great-grandchildren Renner, Sean, Hailee, Giotto, August and Luca; and siblings, sisters Sammie Rickon, Judy Wilcox and brother Danny Fitzhugh.

He is preceded in death by his parents Gervis and Gina Fitzhugh and his brother Billy “Bill” Fitzhugh.

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