Richard Henry III “Fitz” Pfutzenreuter, 68, died Jan. 24, 2021. Fitz grew up in the Como neighborhood and spent his summers as a lifeguard at Lake Phalen. He continued swimming at Hamline University. In 1977 he met his wife of 40 years, Andrea, at St. Paul’s Grand Old Days.
After earning a degree in philosophy, Fitz began an unexpected career in finance, first as a budget analyst at MNDOT followed by 11 years on the fiscal staff of the Minnesota Legislature. He continued in public service becoming CFO and treasurer of the University of Minnesota, where he served for 24 years under four presidents.
The son and grandson of bricklayers, Fitz was a prolific builder in his own right—thanks to his financial acumen, negotiation skills and leadership. In his time at the U he facilitated the creation of stadiums, research facilities and countless projects for the common good.
Fitz achieved great professional success but also found equal satisfaction in simple, personal accomplishments: remodeling his family’s homes in St. Paul and Prospect Park, studiously collecting Minnesota impressionist art, turning wood bowls and building furniture for family and friends. Fitz was an avid sportsman who hunted and fished across North America. No matter the season, you could find him on Blackwater Lake, where he and his father built the family’s cabin in 1978, or at “the farm” in southern Minnesota playing cribbage with hunting buddies.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Fitz, decisive as ever, joined Andrea in retirement. Together they visited family and friends across the country, traveled to Hawaii and Europe, saw their sons marry and welcomed their precious granddaughter to the world. Gifted with more ambition than time, Fitz made the most of every day. He passed with few regrets, though admittedly wished he had been on TPT’s Almanac, just once.
He is survived by wife Andrea Burg, son Ben (Sophia Gardner), son Richard Henry IV (Kathleen), and granddaughter Freya. He is also survived by brother Paul and sisters Carol Satre, Terry (Bruce) Heide, Penny (Greg) Markus, and Lesa (Scott) Kraus.
Memorials preferred to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center or Pheasants Forever, Waseca County Chapter.