William K. Fitch Fund
An industrialist, philanthropist and civic leader are just a few of the words used to describe William K. Fitch, a man who spent his life devoted to the success of his company, the well-being of his company's employees and countless charities and civic organizations.
Born in 1889 in Rockford, Illinois, William received an academic degree from Yale and an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was an Army Veteran of World War I and served in the Coast Guard Artillery Reserve and the Ohio National Guard.
William went on to work for a Dravo Corp. subsidiary, a shipbuilding company known for its solid and innovative construction techniques. He was employed by Dravo for 46 years, working as a Sales Engineer, District Manager, Vice President, Director and, finally, Chairman of the Board, a position he held until his retirement in 1959.
William was active throughout his life with Allegheny Council, Boy Scouts of America, Sewickley Valley Hospital, Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation, Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Community Chest and numerous other civic and social organizations.
He also established the Katherine Kountz Fitch Memorial to help train Cub Scout leaders in Allegheny County and established an endowment for employees of the Boy Scouts of Allegheny County.
The William K. Fitch Fund has touched many Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Funds have helped adults to learn to read through the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council; the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, Employers and Child Care Project, University of Pittsburgh Cleft Palate Clinic, equipping rooms at the Martin Luther King Reading Room in the Hill District, and the Carnegie Library.
Praised for his work ethic, honesty, spiritual values and sense of civic responsibility, he was a crusader concerning ethics in business. "Mostly, though, Bill believes in people," wrote Carl B. Jansen, President, and William E. Clark, Chairman of the Board of Dravo Corp., upon William's retirement. "He looks for and finds the best in others."
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