Jane Carmichael Fitz, M.D. passed away in her sleep on Saturday, November 3rd at her home in Lomita, CA. She was 84. Doctor Fitz had been experiencing health problems including complications from diabetes, but was always involved and engaged in her treatment, showing her physician’s skill in her own diagnosis and care.
Jane had a life-long interest in political causes, both local and national. Throughout her life she strongly supported equal pay and equal rights for woman, and encouraged her daughters to pursue higher education. She was very proud that all four of her daughters attended a California State University. She lived long enough to see her granddaughter Lindsey begin her college education at San Diego State University. In the week preceding her death she enthusiastically discussed every candidate and ballot item with her daughters, and voted in the national election.
Jane was born in Akron Ohio, and raised by Fredrick William Carmichael and his wife Irene in rural Ohio.
Jane received a Bachelor’s of Science (with honors) from Baldwin Wallace College in 1949. She subsequently graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1953 receiving her MMS (Masters of Medical Science) from Ohio State in 1956.
She married SDSU Professor Richard Fitz in 1952 and during their marriage raised four daughters. Her daughter Kathy still lives in San Diego County and is a software engineer. Karen and her husband and children live in suburban Sacramento. Her daughter Sharon is an applications developer married to Charles Crouse. Her daughter Susan also works as an applications developer. Both Sharon and Susan reside in Lomita, CA.
She chose to specialize in anesthesiology at a time when very few women were practicing in that field of medicine. She was the first woman anesthesiologist in San Diego which helped to open the field for more women.
She practiced at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, and Sharp Hospital in San Diego where three of her daughters were born. She also worked at Alvarado Hospital, El Cajon Valley Hospital, Paradise Valley Hospital, Bayview Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital, and UCSD Hospital in San Diego.
She shared her love of the outdoors with her daughters who, like her, became avid equestrians. Jane competed with her Tennessee Walkers, Travelin’ Man Rhythm “George” and Sun Princess ‘R’ “Maggie” in local and national exhibitions.
Jane lived for many years in Palo Verde Ranch located in Alpine, East County San Diego. Jane was a lifelong environmentalist. She was very active in opposing the development of San Diego’s back country areas. She was a member of the Alpine Planning Group from 1994 through 2007.
Jane pursued adventures and loved to travel. Even after retirement she rafted the Grand Canyon, kayaked in Alaska and canoed the huge rivers of California.
In 1989 she was remarried to Henry Ferris. Henry passed away in 2006 but he remained the love of her life, someone she spoke of even in her final hours. She traveled widely with Henry. He shared her love of the opera and theatre, reading and classical music.
In 1994 she was also became a grandmother from the marriage of her daughter Karen to Laurence Stancil. The arrivals of her granddaughters Lindsey and Coralynn and grandson Brycen brought her a great deal of joy and pride as she watched their progress and accomplishments.
Jane will be greatly missed by her family, and everyone who knew her and was influenced by her intellect, love of the arts and music, desire to challenge convention and sense of adventure. May she rest in peace.