Robert J. Fiftal, of Souderton, PA and previously of Ledyard, CT died at the age of 92 on May 16, 2023. His wife, Anne Marie Fiftal, pre-deceased him.
Born in Waterbury, CT to John and Helen Fiftal , he was a depression era baby who grew up in what is called the world’s greatest generation.
Raised in Cheshire and Hamden, CT in a neighborhood of friends and relatives, he had a wonderful childhood of sports, friendships and the gathering of relatives on Sundays. A star athlete at Hamden High School in football and track, he met his future wife, Anne Marie Festa who was Hamden High School’s first female Class President which would turn out to be a lifelong love affair he would always cherish.
He attended Hobart College in Geneva, NY and would commute as often as possible back to Connecticut to see his future wife. Upon graduation from Hobart College, he married Anne Marie and enlisted in the Army as the Korean War in 1952 was an active wartime engagement. While he was never deployed overseas, he was honorably discharged in 1954 and remained in the reserves until 1960. He would speak favorably about this experience throughout his life and believed it was an honor to serve his country.
He was employed for some time at Goodyear Tire company in its management program and eventually settled on the federal credit union movement in the 1960’s and 70’s. He was one of the first employees at what was then the Electric Boat Federal Credit union and then led the Colt Firearms Credit Union organization in Hartford, CT. Later, Bob and his wife would own the Applenose Trading Company in Groton, CT which embraced the natural food movement in the 1970’s and 80’s.
The extended family had moved in the 1960’s from Old Lyme, CT to Ledyard, CT purchasing a rural 90 acre plot of land called the Lantern Hill Homestead where he spent time managing the apartments and cottages on the property in addition to his corporate responsibilities. He provided a home for many of his children’s young adult friends as the cottages called the Bullpen and the Ice House were occupied by his children and their young adult friends and they hosted many of the greatest college parties every thrown in Ledyard. He was also open to many of the encampments on the land and several young adults built live-in tree houses and small shacks on the land where they lived in the summers in the 1970’s.
He is survived by his three children, Rob Fiftal of Boston, MA; Kathy Finley (Jeff) of Doylestown, PA and Kevin (Carol) of Mystic, CT. He also leaves five grandchildren; Mike, Carrie, Chris, James and Avery and two great grandchildren, August and Indie.
A memorial service and burial will be private.
The family would like to thank the Souderton Mennonite Home for the very best care that one could dream of and we are very grateful for so many of their employees efforts over the last six years.