Paul Forest Fitte, of Groesbeck, passed away at Providence Hospice Place in Waco on Sunday, October 9, 2022, at age 69.
Visitation will be held in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
Funeral services will begin at 2:00 pm Wednesday in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel, and will be officiated by Reverend Tracy Sims (Central Baptist Church of Thornton), Brother Richard Williams (Church of Christ of Groesbeck), Dr. Troy Brooks (Lost Prairie Baptist Church) and Glenn Shoemaker.
Pallbearers will be Don Henderson, John Houston, Kim Harris, Brian Swick, David Hughes, and Bob Davis. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. George Massey, Tim Walker, Kim LeNoir, and Luke Reasoner.
Paul was born on July 4, 1953, to Dr. Dwayne Lenore Fitte and Rose Marie (Goelzer) Fitte in Marlin. As the son of a veterinarian, Paul grew up watching and helping his Dad tend to cattle, which remained an important part of his life. In high school, he played football as the kicker on the Marlin Bulldogs team. He graduated from Marlin High School in the Class of 1971.
Paul attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets and played intramural basketball.
Paul was an avid rancher. While working for Thigpen Cattle Co. on a local ranch he met his future wife, Deborah LeNoir, and six months later he proposed.
Paul and Deborah were united in marriage on September 11, 1976. They lived on the ranch at Prairie Hill for the next year and a half, until a tragic night in January 1978, when everything was covered in ice and their mobile home caught fire and burned everything they owned. They ran out with nothing but their pajamas on and when their truck slid off the road, Deborah wrapped Paul’s bare feet in what plastic she could find and tied them with a scarf, so he could walk a long distance back to a barn to get a tractor. They lived with her parents for six months until they accumulated enough to start over.
They later moved to Groesbeck where they raised their 2 children, Adam and Amanda. Paul worked for Floyd Moore Cattle Co., based out of Huntsville, on many ranches around Texas. Later, he worked at many livestock auctions in surrounding counties. He worked for Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association as a brand market inspector. While Paul was inspecting brands, Adam would walk the fence and Amanda would watch from the catwalk.
Paul treated cattle in Falls County, asking his Dad’s advice when needed. He learned to rope when a man who was plowing near him saw him failing to rope a cow and decided to teach him.
While Paul was working his day jobs, he was also throwing the Waco Tribune newspaper in Groesbeck, getting up at 2:00am every day. Adam, Chad Walker and Adam Massey loved to help him throw papers on his route. For Paul's day job, Adam would drive him to the sale barn and keep him awake by slapping his face with a handkerchief when he dozed off.
Adam grew up riding in the truck with Paul. He learned very early on to watch the gas gauge to keep his daddy from running out of gas. Paul had Adam riding a horse and driving a tractor at a young age. He loved to attend Amanda's many extracurricular activities and make sure he was her loudest and proudest supporter.
Paul worked for the City of Groesbeck for twenty-five years, first as an undercover cop, and then as a police officer. One of his exciting and potentially dangerous events was arresting a man at Josie’s Drive In. When he saw him acting improperly he handcuffed him. He found out later the man had just been released from prison and was the head of a drug cartel. Paul changed to the job of Animal Control Officer, and then to Code Enforcement Officer - jobs which required him to stand tough against public complaints.
Paul always said it was nice after a hard day's work to ride in the pasture when the sun was going down. He enjoyed cowboying until a stroke prevented that in 2011. He continued working for the city and maintained an active life after the stroke for many years. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, who brought him joy for the remainder of his life.
Paul grew up in the First Baptist Church of Marlin where he was baptized as a child, and he attended the First Baptist Church of Groesbeck. He enjoyed reading and he loved Aggie football. He found his greatest joy in taking Adam and his buddies to the bonfires and football games in College Station.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, James Eric Fitte, and his father-in-law, Horace LeNoir.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Deborah Fitte; his son, Adam Fitte of Groesbeck; his daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Josh Summey of Rockwall; and his grandchildren: Easton, Elliott, and Emmitt Summey; the twins, Layla and Lucchese Fitte and their mother Misty Perkins. He is also survived by his brother, Mark Fitte; brother and sister-in-law, Dave and Eleanor Fitte; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Martha and Robbin Lane and Rachel and Kevin Heer; and many nieces and nephews; his mother-in-law, Georgia LeNoir; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Stanley Ray and LuRene LeNoir and brother-in-law, Kim LeNoir, and their children.