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Service Information

In Memory of

William M. Fitz-Gibbon



William Marty Fitz-Gibbon: August 1934-July 2012




With great sorrow, the family of William Fitz-Gibbon announces his death from complications of surgery on July 30, 2012, three weeks short of his 78th birthday. Mr. Fitz-Gibbon grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1956 graduated with a bachelorís degree in geophysics from MIT. After a stint in the military, he taught math and physical sciences at secondary schools in Switzerland, England, and Arizona before moving to Los Angeles in 1964. He earned a masters degree in math and math education from UCLA,  and in 1968 began a remarkable 34-year career as a teacher in the Los Angeles school district. In 1971 he created a program for highly gifted students at the junior high level. Housed at Walter Reed Junior High (now Walter Middle School), the Individualized Honors Program, known as IHP, drew students from the district at large.  Mr. Fitz-Gibbon taught, among other subjects, AP Calculus, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry.  Early in his teaching career, he developed a forward-looking interdisciplinary curriculum for the 7th grade introductory science class. Some students have said that this course, ďFrom the big bang to DNA,Ē inspired them to think about careers in science. It is true that a large number of his students have become scientists, engineers, computer engineers, physicians and science teachers, but he was equally proud of his many students who have excelled as professors in the humanities and in other professions. In addition to his classroom work, Mr. Fitz-Gibbon coached some of his best 7th and 8th grade math students for the annual national math competition called MathCounts. His students won numerous awards at the local, region and state levels, and on some occasions, at the national level as well. After his retirement in 2003, Mr. Fitz-Gibbon continued to coach the IHP math teams until he was beset by illness in 2011.


 Mr. Fitz-Gibbon is survived by his wife Deborah Bochner Kennel, his son Keir Fitz-Gibbon  (Anna Bevan) of London and children Zack, Stella, Lucas and Alice, and by his daughter Sorel Fitz-Gibbon (David Paige) of Los Angeles and children Taylor, Eric and Emmie. He leaves a brother Paul Fitz-Gibbon of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and sisters Susan Winton of Chicago, Illinois, Carol Showalter of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and Jane McKenna of Redding, California, eleven nephews and nieces, and sixteen great-nephews and nieces. He is also survived by his former wife and mother of his children Carol Taylor Fitz-Gibbon. He will be missed by his step-son Matthew Bochner Kennel (Maria Winograd) of San Diego, step-daughter Sarah Kennel (John Maggs) of Washington DC and children Luca, Ariel and Talia.


 Details for a celebration of Billís life will be posted at the below website after August 14.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in his memory to Walter Reed IHP (http://www.reedfihp.org).

Share your memories or express your condolences by signing the Guest Book below or click here for entry suggestions.

"I had met Bill Fitz-Gibbon but knew his wife, Deborah Kennel a bit better, in the Los Angeles area. So sorry he is gone, Debbie. I ran into this item..."Peter Noerdlinger (Boulder, CO)

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More Obituaries

Los Angeles Times 
Fitz-Gibbon, William Marty August 19, 1934 - July 30, 2012 With great sorrow, the family of William Fitz-Gibbon announces his death from...

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