Obituary: Robert Fowler Fritch, longtime owner of Vail’s Sitzmark Lodge |

Obituary: Robert Fowler Fritch, longtime owner of Vail’s Sitzmark Lodge

Robert “Bob” Fowler Fritch, 95, passed away Dec. 26 at his home in Vail, surrounded by his family. He was born July 7, 1923, in Brooklyn, New York, to Carl and Ida Fritch. After serving in World War II as a navigator in the Army Air Corps, he received a degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and worked in the Chicago area for 25 years.

Bob married the love of his life, Helen Spencer, on Nov. 28, 1959, in Chicago. They started their family and in 1974, they decided to leave their suburban life behind to run a business together. Both avid skiers, they moved their three daughters to Colorado and began their adventure in Vail as owners of the Sitzmark Lodge.

Bob was an integral part of the Vail community as owner of the Sitzmark Lodge, a member of the board of directors for the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and town council member. Bob enjoyed attending Bravo! Vail concerts, many local events and driving his 1937 Cord convertible around town. He and Helen enjoyed traveling the world, visiting all seven continents but found a special place on Kauai, Hawaii, as their second home.

Bob is survived by his wife, Helen; daughters Nancy, Leslie Chapman (Mike) and Jeanne (Ella Lyons); grandchildren Christopher Chapman (Eliana), Kelly Chapman (Curt Fulster) and Ryan Chapman; nephew Bruce and nieces Linda Wolff (Ken) and Sue Rasch (Drew).

A celebration of life will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Betty Ford Alpine Gardens at

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