Home News and Features Obituary: Warren F. Kitzmiller

Obituary: Warren F. Kitzmiller

bald white man with wire rim classes in suit and tie in front of gray curtain
Vermont Rep. Warren Kitzmiller (D-Washington-4) planned to retire at the end of this session after 22 years in office. Courtesy photo.
Warren F. Kitzmiller, beloved legislator and friend of the citizens of Montpelier and beyond, passed away on July 10, 2022. His daughters, Amy and Carrie Kitzmiller; Amy’s husband, George Pappas; grandchildren Karis and Keller Pappas; and wife, Jeanne Cariati, were at his side.

Warren was a man of integrity, compassion, and intellect with a strong spirit and an open, generous heart. He will be remembered in the community for his determination to promote services and pass laws in the state legislature to benefit all people. He referred to Montpelier as “My Little Town,” a favorite Paul Simon song.

Warren was the co-creator and owner of Onion River Sports for over 25 years. Many remember his radio ads that began with “Hello Folks!” People often stopped him in the street and related their memorable experience of purchasing their first bicycle at ORS. His welcoming smile, a twinkle in his eye, and quick wit attracted people of all ages.

First and foremost, Warren loved his family. His first wife, Karen Kitzmiller, was a member of the state legislature for 16 years. Karen left a legacy, including a major impact on Vermonters’ health and welfare and the revival of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library to serve the community. After her passing, Governor Howard Dean appointed Warren to Karen’s seat. Warren’s seat mates were Francis Brooks and, most recently, Mary Hooper, former mayor of Montpelier and recently retired legislator.

Warren retired from the Vermont State Legislature this year. He served on the Commerce Committee and was an active member of Friends of the State House, and the People’s Health and Welfare Committee. He served on the board of Lost Nation Theater, and the Vermont Arts Council. Warren was proud to coordinate the annual Karen Kitzmiller Coat Drive, a prominent event in Montpelier and Barre.

Warren is survived by his wife, Jeanne Cariati, and by his daughters Carrie Kitzmiller and Amy Kitzmiller Pappas, son-in-law George Pappas, grandchildren Karis and Keller Pappas, and sisters Kathryn Carlson and Mary Jo Yonkers. He was known as “Fritz” by Jeanne, who has known him since elementary school in Erie, Pennsylvania. Fritz embraced Jeanne’s daughter, Renee Cariati and granddaughter, Zora Cariati Graham; Jeanne’s son, Joe Cariati; and grandson, Vincent Cariati; and George’s daughter Cannon Pappas.

Warren kept in touch with his classmates of Academy High School in Erie, and his friendship remains special to all who knew him. Fritz and Jeanne reconnected in 2004 and have been married for 16 years.

Warren will forever be known as a star in his community. His light extends to all of Vermont. He lived as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed … it is who you are in your heart that matters….

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Cards or notes with stories of remembrance would be warmly received at: Family of Warren Kitzmiller, 138 North Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.