Thursday, December 19, 2013
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Emory H. Fitts Jr., age 65, of Big Pine Key, Fla., passed away Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. He was born on Aug. 7, 1948, in Orlando, Fla.

Emory was a graduate of Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Fla. He was a longtime resident of Jacksonville Beach before retiring to the South. Emory served his country as a Vietnam War soldier, sergeant and Medical Evacuation Unit rigger in the 1st Air Cavalry Division (1st Air-Cav), United States Army. Following his Vietnam tour, Emory completed his military service at U.S. Army post Fort Rucker in Enterprise, Ala.

For more than 25 years, Emory owned and operated Jacksonville Beach-based Emory Heating & Air Conditioning. He actively served the Rotary Club of Jacksonville Oceanside, as well as the Big Pine and Lower Keys Rotary Club, having achieved perfect attendance for more than 23 years. Honors included the 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award and the 2012-2013 Peace Through Service Award. Emory was an avid boater and pet lover, as well as a longtime motorcyclist and Harley-Davidson enthusiast.

He is survived by his loving wife, Pat Bridges of Big Pine Key; his son, Emory Joseph Fitts of Jacksonville; and three stepchildren, Katrina Rios of Kissimmee, Fla., Shannon Brainard of Miami, Fla., and Robert O. Bridges Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A celebration of life event will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at Bistro 31, at 31044 Ave. B on Big Pine Key, Fla., 305-872-4100.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Big Pine and Lower Keys Rotary Club's Christmas Decorations Fund or Community Fireworks Fund via P.O. Box 431957, Big Pine Key, FL 33043.

A celebration of life event is planned for Northeast Florida in January 2014.