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Fitch, Mary Joyce Otten

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Mary Joyce Otten Fitch, 90, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died Feb. 19, 2024, in Sonora, California, of complications related to Alzheimer’s.

Born March 10, 1933, in Oxnard, California, to Albert and Mary Louise Otten, she was raised in Ventura and Santa Barbara. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School and later received a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1955.

Mary married first husband, Kenyon Trout ,in June 1955. They moved to San Jose, where she began her teaching career while Kenyon worked on a master’s degree. They then moved to Hayward, where both taught, and began their family. The family moved to Twain Harte in 1958 and Ken began teaching at Sonora High School. Mary taught several years in Twain Harte then, in 1970, they moved to Sonora, and she eventually began teaching at Sonora Elementary School.

She married longtime Tuolumne County resident and rancher William Fitch in 1977 and assisted with the Fitch sheep ranch while continuing teaching.

Mary was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, working as a pianist and teaching children while enjoying singing in the choir and temple work.

Mary and Bill moved to Riddle, Oregon, in 1988, where they restored an old ranch house for their home and continued sheep ranch operations until Bill’s death in 1996. She moved back to Twain Harte in 1998 to be closer to family, where she continued her love of gardening and working in her church. She later moved to Jamestown and Sonora.

She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Mark (Robbie), Ann (John) Caggiano and Julie Raffety; and husbands Ken and Bill.

Mary is survived by children Colleen Trout (Jay Goodwin), of Telluride, Colorado, Karin (Dan-d.) Baldwin, of Turlock, Keith (Teri), of Yerington, Nevada, Kelly Mena(Anthony), of Moccasin, California, and Kenyon, of Lehi, Utah; three stepchildren, Jerry Fitch (June), of Oklahoma, Karen Kuhlman (Matt), of Missouri, and Gary Fitch (Mary), of Missouri. She was also the proud grandmother of 27 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday, April 2, in Riddle, Oregon, and a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Sonora chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The family requests donations in Mary’s name be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or to an education-related charity of your choice.

 

  • Date of Death: 02/19/2024
  • Age: 90
  • Residence: Sonora, CA
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