John was born in Earling, W.V. and grew up in southeastern Ohio. He graduated from high school in 1955 and then enlisted in the Navy. He entered one of the service’s technical training programs and became an electronic technician. He was honorably discharged in 1958.
After his military obligation was fulfilled, John went to work for Nueleonics. By 1967, John and Nicole were married and had started a family. He was hired by St. Regis Paper Company to work in the engineering department at the Bucksport, Maine paper mill. In 1984 he was ready for a change and left the mill which had been bought out by Champion International.
Within two years after leaving Champion, John decided to start his own engineering firm. In July of 1986 he founded THE FITCH COMPANY as a two-person firm doing engineering consulting in Bangor, Maine. He initially specialized in electrical and process control systems for the pulp and paper industry. His firm expanded steadily, weathered a painful recession in 1990 and opened offices as far away as Alabama. He retired in 2003 and sold the firm to one of its long-time employees, senior project engineer Mark Bolduc. Under Bolduc the firm has continued to thrive and expand into other industries in need of electrical engineering and automation services.