Lewis Hitt Fagan, 81
Lewis Hitt Fagan, 81, of Beacon Hill Road, Block Island, R.I., formerly of Monroe, Conn., passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 1, surrounded by loved ones, following complications from a fall.
Lew was born on April 9, 1936 in Bridgeport, Conn., to Henry and Mildred Fagan of Monroe, Conn. He graduated from Bassick High School in 1954 and the University of Connecticut in 1958. Lew served in the Army from 1958 to 1962. On June 27, 1959 he married his love and best friend, Ann Garrity.
Lew started his career at Avco Corporation in Stratford, Conn., in 1960. He left Avco in 1963 to begin his 35-year career at the Perkin Elmer Corporation. Much of his career was spent negotiating top secret U.S. Government Cold War-era intelligence projects, including the KH-9 Hexagon Spy Satellite. It wasn’t until 2011, when the KH-9 was declassified, that Lew could share the stories of the exciting and clandestine career that he was so proud of. Lew also was a contract negotiator for the Hubble Space Telescope project through the 1980s, until its launch in 1990. He cherished his relationships with people at NASA, and was proud of the Hubble’s countless discoveries.
In 1998, Lew and Ann moved to Block Island, realizing their 30-year dream of opening “The Fagan Cottage.” Lew had a lifelong passion for aviation, and for 17 years worked for New England Airlines as a reservationist, conversing with the tourists, pilots and islanders, developing long-lasting relationships.
Lew believed strongly in community service. He was an active member of the Stepney Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years. Lew loved volunteering at the fire department, fighting fires, playing softball and marching in fireman parades while making life-long friends. He was a proud member of American Legion Post 36 and, for many years, served as financial secretary for the Harbor Baptist Church. And consistent with his nature, was there to lend a helping hand for any cause or friend.
Lew was a wonderful, caring, humble man who was interested in others. He did not complain, or boast. The most important thing in his life was his wife, Ann. Lew loved his family and living on Block Island. He was proud of serving his country, community, and of his career. He preferred life’s simple pleasures of sharing time with his friends and family at his home on Block Island.
Lew is survived by his loving wife Ann; daughter Lou Ann Doehre;, two sons, Mark Fagan, and his wife Mary, Alan Fagan and his wife Kellie; eight grandchildren: Tiffany, Ashley, Danielle, Jack, Sam, Kathryn, Ryan and Julianne; and his great grandchildren Angelia, Alina and Aiden.
A special thank you to South County Hospital and Hope Hospice and Palliative Care for their respectful and loving care and support. Also a special thanks to the Block Island community for their loving nature and support. There is no place Lew loved more.
On Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m., a graveside service will be held at the Block Island Cemetery followed by a celebration.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Block Island Health Services (Box 919) and Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue (Box 781). Both organizations cared for Lew many times with devotion and passion.