Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 05:06:23 :
Thursday, November 24, 1938
Newman Fitzhenry’s Body Cremated
‘Mayor’ of Stinson Beach Suicides Sunday
The body of Newman L. Fitzhenry, Stinson Beach operator who committed suicide last Sunday morning, was taken to San Mateo Tuesday for cremation. This was his request to his wife and to the coroner, in notes found in the car, where Fitzhenry where was found slumped in the backs seat of his car at Willow Camp. He had taken his life by inhaling monoxide gas carried into the closed car by a tube connected with the engine exhaust.
Reason for the rash act was attributed to failing health. His body was found by Joe Avilia, dairyman, about 7 am. and one of the notes was timed as 4:10 a.m. the same morning, indicating that Fitzhenry had been dead but a short time when found.
Dr. W. P. Goddard, of Mill Valley, applied artificial respiration in a futile attempt to revive the suicide victim.
Fitzhenry, who was 58 years, penned a note to a friend, in which he commented upon the futility of life.
“Life of all kinds, from the highest to the lowest, either animal or vegetable, is and always has been just a dog fight. It is a hideous, horrid and cruel plan. In such a plan, there are two outstanding elements – first, preservation and continuance of it, and second, the destruction of it through death.
“I personally resent being part of such a plan, and it is my conclusion that if I am somewhat superior by reason of a “planned” intellect and have the privilege to determine what cow, horse, dog, fly, germ, tree, weed, etc., shall continue to exist, I also have the right and privilege to determine my own.
“So I am exercising my apparent right in making an end of it.”
A note in the car asked that on one “attempt to revive me. It would only be useless, for I have started on my way now. This is a case of suicide.” This note was dated “4:00 a.m.” It requested that there be “no ceremony, no coffin, no dressing up, but simple cremation.”
The body was taken to Sausalito undertaking parlors.
Mr. Ftizhenry was born in Illinois in 1881, and had operated the Beach properties for 24 years with his wife, Mrs. Evan Stinson Fitzhenry, daughter of the former owner of the Stinson Beach holdings. He was a graduate of the University of Chicago, and a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was also a member of the San Rafael Elks Club, and was considered one of the authorities on bridge in the Bay region. He was also a member of the San Francisco Press Club.
Fitzhenry’s chief ambition was for wide development of Stinson Beach, as one of the world playgrounds, but he lacked sufficient capital to carry out his dream. He was always interested in promotional work in the county, but never overlooked an opportunity to let the world know that there was a beautiful beach close by, and that any large development project should not overlook Stinson Beach. He frequently appeared before the Board of Supervisors fighting for better roads to the Beach, and at one time offered the Beach properties to the county, under a long term lease.
George Larsen, Sausalito undertaker, took charge of the cremation service Tuesday, which was at Mount Olivet Memorial Park, San Mateo county.
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