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William Edwin Fittipoldi
June 7, 1954 ~ August 20, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
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William Edwin Fittipoldi passed away surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the age of 69.
Bill was born on June 7, 1954 in Philadelphia, PA, and moved with his family to Napa, CA, in 1956. Bill was always an adventurer and explorer. As a teen he and a friend registered with Rangers to explore remote mountain meadows, redwood forests, and even made a road trip to Alaska by car.
His love of cooking started at age 12 with omelets and burgers. While in high school he enjoyed working in the Grapevine Inn kitchen as a cook.
At age 19, he went to Bermuda where he worked for three years in the kitchens of the Castle Harbor Hotel under the tutelage of a French chef. While there, he made lasting friendships with coworkers from Italy, France, Germany and England.
He returned to California at age 22 by driving cross country from Philadelphia with two co-workers from Germany.
He settled back home for turns at The Carriage House and Rainbow Bridge in Napa and the Sonoma Mission Inn. He then enrolled in college, earning his degree in hotel restaurant management at SF City College. He spent three years on South Padre Island, TX, and San Antonio in management positions at Hilton and Sheraton hotels.
From there he spent three years in Sacramento restaurants and also partnered with several friends to buy, remodel and sell an old Victorian Sacramento home. After a short stint managing a new beach restaurant in Costa Rica, which he loved, he returned to Napa and worked at the Green Valley Cafe and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. Bill treasured his many friendships in the local hospitality field.
Twelve years ago Bill met the love of his life- Theresa Lang. They were happily wed in March, 2017. He and Theresa suffered a great loss when their home and all their possessions were destroyed by fire caused by the Napa earthquake in August 2014. It was a lot of work, but they rebuilt their home and replaced their burned fruit trees and vegetable garden. Bill enjoyed his last years working as part of the close knit team at Trader Joes. He planned to retire on his 70th birthday so that he and Theresa could live part of each year in Costa Rica.
He is survived by his loving wife, Theresa; his stepson, Wyatt King; his mother, Faye Faux Fittipoldi; his brother, John Fittipoldi, III; his sister, Judith Hutchison; his brother-in-law, Brian Hutchison; his niece, Giovanna Saldana; his nephews: Sean Hutchison and John (JJ) Fittipoldi, IV; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his father, John Fittipoldi, Jr. M.D.
Bill was a kind and loving man. He had a wonderful sense of humor. His key lime pies were sought after.
He loved a good book. He loved the movie "Casablanca" and listed his name in the telephone book as "Rick Blaine." He enjoyed cooking dinner for family and friends. He is loved and missed - none more than their two cats: Luna and Valentino - who now sleeps in Bill's slipper.