NEW ORLEANS— Family and friends of 99-year old former Louisiana Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris Jr. came to St. Louis Cathedral today to honor and say farewell to the man they affectionately calld, “Fitz.”
“Lt. Governor Fitzmorris’ grandchildren attended the school where I was prinicpal at. I remember one time I invited him to speak to our 8th graders. When he spoke he didn’t talk about Louisiana’s politics. What he spoke mostly about was the importance of your good name, your name and your reputation,” Bobby Ohler, a friend of the Fitzmorris family said.
Jimmy Fitzmorris became known for getting things done in Louisiana. Fitzmorris was Lt. Governor for two terms from 1972 to 1980. He’s known for helping build Louisana’s tourism industry and for being an important part of a new state Constitution being drafted.
“A networker, a man of action, a man who brought business to our community and to our state,” Ohler said.
Current Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says Fitzmorris inspired him.
“I learned a lot from Fitz. He made me promise that no matter who won Governor that I wouldn’t run against him or talk bad about him. I made that commitment to Fitz and that was the best advice he could give me,” Nungesser said.
Nungesser went on to say, “We’re a better state today because of his love for Louisiana’s people.”
Archbishop Gregory Aymond for the Archdiocese of New Orleans presided over Fitzmorris’ funeral today and said, “He will be remembered as a man of faith. A man who was dedicated to his family and dedicated to our city and our state.”
Fitzmorris’ wife Gloria died in 1995. The two met during World War II when he was an officer getting a physical checkup in New Orleans. She was a medical technician. He is survived by their daughter, Lisa Clement, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.