Arthur O. “Art” Fitzner was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois in March 1926 to Arthur G. and Vera M. Fitzner. He attended Flossmoor Elementary School and Bloom High School, graduating in 1944. Art then entered the University of Louisville. After completing the speeded-up Navy V-12 and Navy ROTC programs he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1947. He then won a Bonneville Power Administration Research Fellowship at the University of Washington, graduating in 1949 with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
Art began his career teaching electrical engineering students at Vanderbilt University for two years, and subsequently worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Buffalo, New York designing control systems using advanced computer simulation techniques. This led to an opportunity to join Giddings & Lewis in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to expand his career into computer controlled machine tools which had opened a new era of automated manufacturing. Art finished his working career with the Mercury Marine Division of Brunswick Corporation in Fond du Lac. He was especially grateful to Mercury Marine for the opportunity to design the ignition modules and anti-stall device used in the first generation of V6 outboards (where the oil was mixed with the gas). Overall, Art’s thirty year career covered electrical engineering experience ranging from heavy industrial drive systems to outboard engine control modules, and resulted in his being awarded thirty U.S. patents.
Art married his wife Dixie in 1951 and had three children: a son Reid (who died in 1987), a son Wade, and a daughter Ardith. They retired to Weyauwega, Wisconsin, where Art designed their home to take maximum advantage of the natural beauty of the rolling land, woods and waters nearby.
Following his expressed wishes, Art was cremated with no formal funeral ceremony. In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established. If friends and family wish to make a gift in his honor, checks can be made payable to the ThedaCare Hospice Foundation (1818 N Meade St. Appleton, Wisconsin 54911). Please list Arthur Fitzner on the memo line and funds will be directed to the Waupaca Community Fund. To sign the guest book, please visit oconnellfh.com.
The family is especially grateful to Dr. Paul Sletten and his staff at ThedaCare Medical Center -Waupaca and to Dr. Robert Vlach and his staff at Wisconsin Urology for the care that Art received. The family also wants to thank the hospice nurses and workers who helped Art so much at the end of his life.
The O’Connell Funeral Home in Little Chute is serving the family.