Duncan "Sandy" Fitchet '76
In June next year the class of 1976 will celebrate a major milestone as we gather for our fortieth reunion. But for the members of SigEp and the Dartmouth track team it will be bittersweet. For the first time, Sandy, who died on September 20, 2014, will not be there to celebrate with us.
Originally from Winetka, IL, Sandy excelled in the 880 yard run and his time of 1:52.4 was the Dartmouth record until his mark was eclipsed by SigEpper Charlie Nadler two years later. Dartmouth’s track coach, Barry Harwick, SigEp 1978, commented on the track team bonds: “When I talk to the current athletes on the Dartmouth track team I tell them that their experience will last far longer than four years. My friendship with Sandy is a wonderful testament to this. Whenever I would see him in town or on campus he would always ask about the team. He had great memories of running at Dartmouth, as do I, and he was always thrilled when one of the current squad excelled.”
Sandy joined SigEp in the spring of his freshman year and was a fixture at the house for the next three years. He is best remembered by his classmates and brothers for his boundless sense of humor and his willingness to be there for anyone who was in need.
Sandy’s love for Dartmouth came naturally from his father who was class of 1946. He passed that love on to his daughter, Margaret, who was co-valedictorian of her class in 2008. When Sandy’s friends insisted that Margaret’s brain came from her mother, he didn’t hesitate. His proud response: “Maybe so, but she got her love of sports and her athletic talent from me!” Margaret was an outstanding tennis player at Dartmouth and holds the record for the most singles win in a season.
Around the time of our graduation Sandy’s father purchased a retirement home in Etna. After he died, Sandy and Jane moved into it. His work for the software company he started allowed him to live wherever he wanted. It was an easy choice. For the past eleven years a visit to Dartmouth and SigEp meant an opportunity to see Sandy and Jane.
Although Sandy struggled with various health problems in recent years, he was always upbeat and ready to help. When SigEp acknowledged in 2009 that it was time for a new chapter house, Sandy was among the first to contribute and to begin working the phones to get brothers to donate. He was an initial member of the team that helped manage the finances and upkeep of the chapter house.
Sandy’s time with us was not as long as we would have liked, but there is no question that he made his mark.
Goodbye, dear friend. Yours was a race well run!