Since 1909, at least one member of the Fitch family has practiced the healing arts in the St. Johnsbury area.
That is until Monday morning, when Dr. Richard M. Fitch sold his successful Eastern Avenue dental practice to his associate, Richard S. Koslowski, marking the end of an era.
Fitch is apparently the last in a long line of dentists and doctors descended from Wilmer H. Fitch, a Mooers, N.Y., merchant.
Perry M. Fitch, one of six children and the great-uncle of Richard Fitch, opened his general dentistry practice in 1909 on Railroad Street in St. Johnsbury. Ten years later, he was joined by his brother, Wilmer Jr., who continued in practice until 1965.
Their brother and Richard Fitch's grandfather, Willis Fitch, became a physician and founded Fitch Clinic, also on Railroad Street. Willis Fitch's son, Perry Fitch, became a dentist and practiced in Newport from 1934 to 1983.
Richard Fitch followed in his own father's footsteps. After graduating from Tufts Dental School in 1964, he served at Fort Knox as a captain in the Dental Corps of the U.S. Army. In 1967, he returned to St. Johnsbury, where he became associated with Dr. Harold Kennedy. He opened his own practice in 1980 at 9 Prospect St.
Other Fitch family members who served here include Richard Fitch's great-uncle, Frederick 0. Moore, who practiced dentistry from 1914 to 1940, and his uncle, Donald E. Coburn, who was a surgeon with the Fitch Clinic.
Fitch and his wife, Nancy, who works at Spectacles, next door to her husband's Eastern Avenue dental office, hope to do a little traveling and spend more time with their two grandchildren.
"It's been enjoyable and we'll miss the people we've come into contact with," said Fitch.
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