John Marvin Fite was born on February 27, 1930 and died on July 31, 2023. He was the son of John Marvin and Melinda Turner, and was the youngest of eight children. In 1950, Marvin married his high school sweetheart, Gerry Small on June 11, 1950, and had three children, Carol, Gail and David.
Marvin, or ‘Pa’ as he was known to his grand and great-grandchildren, was 93 years old and enjoyed many active years of health and traveling. In mid-life, he reunited with a friend from high school and married , Earlene Petropoulos, on September 24, 1994. They built a beautiful new home together where pictures of family were proudly displayed. Pa and Earlene always kept a well stocked kitchen where it was impolite to refuse a coke or Dr. Pepper. They traveled together across the country and the world, touring with their RV and later with dinner cruises and tour groups. Even though he lived his entire life in the Texas panhandle, he had a passion for travel and new experiences. Several memorable destinations included Germany, Norway, and at least one whitewater rafting adventure.
Marvin’s strong work ethic was forged as a child growing up in a large family in the 1930’s. As a young adult, he worked summers for a local farmer, then for Bellah’s supermarket and his brother’s grocery store. He served for four years in the Army National Guard, receiving an honorable discharge in 1952. Later, he earned his degree in business by attending night classes while working for the U.S. Post office.
He began his career as Director of Purchasing and Inventories for West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas (now West Texas A&M University), and retired in 1993 after 35 years. He was a member of the Canyon Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years, serving in leadership roles and earning five 5-year stripes. He coached little league and was Scout Master for 5 years. Doing things well carried over from his work in business to protecting the community to cutting his grass with precision. He loved the Dallas Cowboys, and attended worship and social gatherings with his church community.
Marvin endured many tragic losses in his life, but quietly persevered in the face of grief. His family will remember him for his steady demeanor, generosity, and love of humor. His health declined rapidly the last few months of his life leaving him unable to do many of the things he enjoyed. The family is grateful for the life he lived and the fact that he is no longer in pain. He took his last breaths surrounded by loved ones.
Marvin is survived by his dedicated wife, Earlene Petropoulos Fite; daughter, Gail Fite Bingham and husband, Doug Bingham; grandchildren, Jake (Colby), Emily (Jerome), Brittany (Chris), Bethany (Jonah), Ben, John (Kayla), and Katie (Jeff); and fifteen great-grandchildren as well as his bonus family: Judy and Royse Phillips and their children, Shelley,
Kristy, and Kaci. He is preceded in death by his parents J. Marvin and Melinda; all seven of his siblings; the mother of his children, Gerry Small Fite; two of his children, Carol Stout and David Fite; and granddaughter, Kristen Stout Brown.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday August 4, 2023 at Boxwell Brothers Chapel 2800 Paramount Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79109