Jess Wayne Fitzhugh

Jess Wayne Fitzhugh passed away November 15 in Enterprise, Oregon, with his wife, children, and grandchildren by his side. Jess was born in Crescent City, California on January 9, 1943, to George R. Fitzhugh and Luella B. Fitzhugh. A lifetime resident of Brookings, Jess graduated from Brookings Harbor High School in 1961, where he excelled in wrestling and placed second in state competition during his senior year.

In 1966 Jess married Carol E. Nicholson and worked in Vietnam, including as a crane operator for Alaska Barge and Transport. After returning from overseas, Jess bought several pieces of heavy equipment and began a construction business in Brookings while also working for AACO and becoming the father to three children. In 1978, Jess joined forces with David Baldwin and Steven Salisbury to buy AACO, forming Tidewater Contractors, Inc. Over more than four decades, Jess led the company through success and expansion. As president of the company, which specializes in private and public-sector roadway projects, his vision extended the company’s operations into eastern Oregon, California, Nevada, and Idaho.

Jess’ first wife Carol passed away in 2003. Jess married J. Fran Blanks in 2013. He loved seeing his business flourish and spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, including attending their sporting events, taking them hunting and participating in many other activities. A passionate outdoorsman, Jess was also known as an expert big-game hunter and mule packer. Recently he spent much of his time at his ranch on the Eastern side of Oregon near Lostine, joined by wife Fran, working on his home, barn, and shop, and developing the property with his heavy equipment.

Jess was preceded in death by his parents (George and Luella) and sister (Marjorie). In addition to his wife Fran, his survivors include daughter Tanya, sons Scott & wife Julie and George & wife Cassie; grandchildren Taylor, Jess L., Louie, Cartyr, Sierra, and Camilla; and great-grandson, George Waylon.

Jess’ celebration of life will be at the Brookings Elks Lodge on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Brookings Harbor High School Athletic Fund - Jess Wayne Fitzhugh - 629 Easy St Brookings, Or. 97415.


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