Obituary: Albert Edward Kitto

By Laura Briggs

Albert Edward Kitto will be remembered as a much-loved family man who was known for his selflessness, his positive nature and the smile that never left his face.

Family, friends and community members farewelled Mr Kitto late last month, celebrating a life well lived and showing their support for the much-loved Shepparton man who died on August 19, aged 91.

Mr Kitto, who was known as Ted, was an adored husband to Joan, a loving father of four, a grandfather to 11 and great-grandfather to 11.

Born in Liverpool, England in January, 1928 to parents Albert and Charlotte Kitto, he was the middle of three children.

As a young child, Mr Kitto was known for his athletic ability and his love for Manchester United Football Club. And like most boys, he always had to be doing something.

With other young boys his age living down his court, it was a rock-throwing competition that led him to encounter the woman who would come to be his mother-in-law for the first time, after he threw the rock so far it went through the kitchen window of his future wife’s family home.

Despite the 'rocky' start with her family, Mr Kitto took Joan as his wife in 1953.

During their early years together, the young couple often spent weekends venturing around on their tandem bike and ballroom dancing — at which they won many awards together.

On May 21, 1955 the family of three — then with eight-month-old son Ian — arrived in Australia.

Moving to a small farm outside Cobram, Mr Kitto and his wife took some time to adjust to life with an outside toilet, snakes, redback spiders and Aussie slang.

He was also required to complete an apprenticeship he had already done in England. This led him to work during the day and drive milk tankers at night.

During this time the couple went on to welcome three more children into the world: Frank, Gary and Lyn.

After some time, the family was living in Shepparton when Mr Kitto became a teacher at North Tech College. There, he took on maths classes before moving into the electrical sector where he later became head of the department.

In this position, Mr Kitto played a major role in the management and set-up of the course curriculum while still teaching third-year students.

Eventually North Tech College shut its doors and Mr Kitto picked up work at Shepparton’s GOTAFE.

However, he found it hard to settle in as his position did not involve a lot of time in the classroom with students.

This led to early retirement at age 60.  

Mr Kitto transitioned from one chapter to another.

With more time on his hands, he devoted countless hours volunteering with the Kiwanis Club where he was part of a large range of events and fundraisers. His involvement — particularly with Heart Kids and K-Kids — saw Mr Kitto become a highly valued and well-known member of the Shepparton community.

But his community involvement never took away from his family engagement. Mr Kitto was cherished by each of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He forged a close bond with the grandchildren as they grew up — Mr Kitto was known to cheer them on at various sporting events, school concerts and graduations.

While his last years saw him face a number of health challenges, Mr Kitto passed peacefully in the company of his wife of 66 years and his family members.

As Mr Kitto was farewelled by hundreds who attended his funeral, he was acknowledged by his children as their hero and best mate, who would forever hold a special place in their hearts.