April 11, 1929 — February 17, 2017
Leroy “Roy” Waldo Fitzell Jr. beloved husband, father, papa, friend, teacher and consummate dancing artist returned to his heavenly home on Feb. 17, 2017. He was 87 years old.
Roy was born April 11, 1929, in San Diego, California to Leroy Waldo Fitzell Sr. & Mary Eleanor Ord. He married Sandra Jean Hunt in Van Nuys, California on Dec. 28, 1968. They were later sealed for time and eternity in the Los Angeles California LDS temple.
He grew up in southern California where at the age of eight he began training as a dancer in all idioms. This would be his lifelong career. At 14 he performed in his first film, “Babes on Swing Street” followed by “The Loves of Carmen” starring Rita Hayworth. He continued to make theatrical and film appearances all before graduating from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, California.
In 1949 he answered the call to serve an LDS mission in Uruguay for 2 and a half years. During that time, he performed in many South American theaters and became known as “The Dancing Missionary”. After his mission, he continued his prolific professional career in television, film, and theater in southern California. Later he pursued a distinguished career as a professor of dance at UC Irvine, and then after moving to St. George, UT, at SUU and Dixie State.
Roy and his wife, Sandra, served an LDS mission together to Madrid, Spain from 2006-2008.
Roy had a remarkable work ethic inside and outside the home and was still performing this past Dec. as Drosselmeyer in “The Nutcracker”. He was a true artist who not only performed but composed music, painted, and saw beauty in everything, including the landscapes of southern Utah.
Roy was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Gilbert Ord Fitzell, and his sister, Mary Eleanor Hunter. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; sons, Kurt (Cathy) Fitzell of Spokane, Washington; Matthew (Jenny) Fitzell of St. George; daughter, Ellen (Chris) Roberts of Aliso Viejo, California; son, Andrew (Lioba) Fitzell of Dusseldorf, Germany, and nine grandchildren.
- A Celebration of the Life of Roy Fitzell will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. in the Bloomington LDS Chapel, 3381 Mulberry Drive in St. George, Utah.
- The family will have a private burial service preceding at the Santa Clara City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to The Roy Fitzell Memorial Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/3ec8gfs?r=75666