July 1, 2003 by

Floyd Fithian


Categories: Politicians

Floyd Fithian, a former congressman from Indiana, died on June 27 of Parkinson’s disease. He was 74.
Fithian, a Democrat, served in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1983, and on the Small Business, Government Operations, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture committees.
After his final term in office, Fithian spent two years as the finance director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and 11 years as the chief of staff for Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill.
In 2003, Fithian was one of 72 former Congressmen to sign a petition that urged the U.S. and British governments to seek peaceful solutions, rather than war, in Iraq.

9 Responses to Floyd Fithian

  1. Randy Bishop

    I was fortunate enough to work for Congressman Fithian first as an intern and then as a staff member during his final term in office.
    Congressman Fithian was not only a dedicated Member of Congress but an educator.
    Many times the Congressman would take the time to not just talk to me about an issue, but to educate me about the importance of that issue. I, as a staff member, learned more from him, I am afraid, than I was ever able to give him.
    Thoughts of him, his family and all of the wonderful things he did makes me proud to have known him.
    Marge and family, my thoughts are with you. Sir, may the gates of heaven swing wide for one so kind, so noble and so true to those whom he served.

  2. Tom O'Donnell

    I remember Floyd from 2 periods in my life. I went to St. Joseph College in Rennsellaer, IN and put together a group of students to support Floyd’s run against that scab trucker – Earl Langreeb. Well, we offered our help and put together a fund raiser. I don’t know how much we raised but Floyd couldn’t get over the fact that the facility where we had the event was the Charles Halleck Center (Former Republican Minority Leader). He said that it was at that point he knew he was going to win if he could raise money there.
    My second encouter was about 15-16 years later as a campaign staffer for Paul Simon’s Presidential bid. I was always impressed by the breath of his knowledge…so inevitably I would ask him questions on American history or issues of the day. Later, I would ask him how we could continue in Iowa to fund 8 offices and fifty staffers for six more months…so, of course, we then talked about the deficit.
    He will be greatly missed by many.

  3. Ray Quintanilla

    Floyd was a good man! I’m sorry to hear about his death. I worked for him as a staffer to Sen. Paul Simon from Illinois during the 1980s.
    Floyd carried too much of the world’s troubles on his shoulders. The man was always worried about things happening around the world–most of which he had no control over. After losing his relection bid, he should have stayed in Indiana and lived out his days as a very respected teacher. That would have added years to his life!
    Suerte, my friend. Ray

  4. Leveda Smith

    Floyd Fithian was one of the Congressmen who came to the aid of Monticello, Indiana, after a tornado caused $100 million damage to that community on April 3, 1974. He was a rare individual — an honest politician. I lost track of him after I moved to Colorado in the 1980’s and just today looked him up on the Internet…only to learn of his passing. What a shame. He was a genuinely nice man…too nice for Washington, DC.

  5. Judy Giles

    Mr. Fithian made an impression on me that has stayed with me always. I was a journalism student at Purdue in 1975. A great friend from my poetry class told me he sometimes drove for the congressman when he was making trips around Indiana. I needed a subject for a class paper, my friend asked Mr. Fithian, and he allowed me to travel with them for a weekend. Mr. Fithian would work on paperwork etc. in the back of this rather shabby van while my friend drove. And he was so sincere to everyone when we stopped at the places he needed to visit. We stayed overnight with some people who were kind enough to not only be hospitable to him but to two college students that they didn’t know. And I think their cat slept with him even though I think he was not a cat lover. The impression that stayed with me was, every time I think that it is not worth the time it takes to vote, or that everything is corrupt or fixed, or all politicians are phony, I think of the gentleman I had the honor to meet when I was at Purdue. I think maybe this person I cast a vote for might be as genuine, and make a contribution as important as Mr. Fithian. It gets me to the polls everytime.

  6. Richard Wicker

    Floyd Fithian was a part of my life for about 4 years from age 2 to age 6. Floyd and I were the same age. The Fithian and Wicker families lived on farms near Vesta, Ne.which were across the road from each other. A creek separated the farms. I give Floyd and his brother Lyle credit for saving my life when I was about 6. There were quick-sand pockets in that creek. I became trapped in quicksand and was screaming for help. Floyd and his brother Lyle pulled me out as I was about to go under. That incident has been with me all of my life. I have never forgotten Floyd Fithian. I commend him for is accomplishments.

  7. Judy Fithian Heuss

    Floyd Fithian was one in a million. To say that he inspired me in all facets of my life is not understatement. You see, I am Floyd’s daughter. My father was not only a man of integrity, but a man who was completely dependable. If he said he would do something, then you could count on it being done. He loved deeply and was committed to those whom he loved. The disease that took his life was ugly but that is not what I remember anymore. I remember playing basketball on his driveway with the grandkids, playing backgammon until the wee hours of the morning when I came home from college, and wrestling in the living room when I was a kid and then again with my children in later years. He and my mom taught me what it was to be completly loved. He taught me the elements of my faith in God. I miss him dearly. As I get older, I smile when I think about the ever-ready hug that he would offer.
    If you have know him, please join in by honoring him with a memory. Thank you to each of you who have written about him. I would love to learn more about his influence on others. Thank you.

  8. Anne Schubnell

    Mr. Fithian was truly a one in a million. I remember campaining for him years ago. I am deeply sadden by his passing. This election year made me think of him and this is why I decided to try and locate his family. His dedication as a congressman and to his family was such a reward.
    I could have not said it any better than Randy Bishop.
    “Sir, may the gates of heaven swing wide for one so kind, so noble and so true to those whom he served.”

  9. Gwen Fearnley Bolton-first campaign office manager

    The thing I remember most about Floyd was his determination to make a difference in this world by first of all being the best husband and father setting an example of what a Christian man should be. His love of God and country was what made him run to make Indiana the best it could be and his district in particular but eventually the entire country. Seeing his precious wife Marge and his lovely family so happy to be part of this process was truly an example to all of us. His tireless dedication to his life’s work and service that extended to his years in Washington was built on principles of hard work and not only that but good works born out of his faith and charity that a relationship with his Lord naturally overflowed into the life of others. May God continue to bless his wonderful family with the peace that passes understanding since he is waiting in heaven for them but knowing Floyd he must be in training to run one of the best farms in the kingdom when it comes! Looking forward to seeing that one! Until then may we be the Lord’s workmen as the fields are white unto harvest and we must work while it is still day!

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