At home under the loving watch of family and friends, Mitzi Jean Fideler, 89, passed away from gastric-esophageal cancer in the early morning hours of the full moon on March 2, 2018. Mitzi was born Nov. 10, 1928, the youngest of three children from Cecelia and Adam Kaliszewski of Cicero, Illinois. She graduated from Morton High School, in Cicero. In 1948, while working at the Herman Miller showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart, she met her future husband, Louis E. Fideler Jr., a WW II Marine veteran and architectural student at the Art Institute of Chicago. Married in September of 1948, they moved to Evanston, Illinois where they raised their three children. During the turbulent changing times of the 60’s, Mitzi found a meaningful and rewarding path participating in the civil rights and women’s movements.
Eventually, the older two children left for college and the remaining family of three, looking for a change of lifestyle, moved to Colorado Springs in 1973. There they began a new, more relaxed life at the foot of Pike’s Peak. Lou relocated his own architectural private practice and Mitzi worked in management for several retail establishments including Interior Systems and Fashion Bar. After retiring in 1987, Mitzi contracted breast cancer and successfully beat it twice: once in 1987 and again in 1989. This sparked a new passion for supporting others dealing with the illness. She never wasted time figuring out why she was stricken; rather, she used her energy and zest for life to fight the disease and spread the word that it is beatable. After attending the Aspen Race for the Cure in 1992, Mitzi, along with her dear friend Carol Kelly, also a cancer survivor, became determined to bring the Race for the Cure to Colorado Springs. In 1995, through their tireless efforts, what’s now known as Susan G Komen, Colorado South was formed. In 1996, Mitzi was honored by the American Cancer Association with their Silver Sword Award for her work in cancer activism. Her support for this cause continued for the next twenty years, building a very strong community of close friendships. Mitzi will be remembered for her love of travel, theater and sudokus, her flair for fashion, as well as her contagious laugh, loving spirit and insatiable zest for life.
The love of family and friends were so important to Mitzi. She is survived by her two siblings, Arthur Kalish(95) and Eleanor Clasen (97) from the Chicago area; her three children, Louis, Francesca (Joseph) Perazzelli, from Los Angeles and Gabrielle (Rich) Coffman, from Boston; her 8 grandchildren, Allie (Mike) Pittman, Marisa Perazzelli (Chris Hancock), Henry (Kristen) Perazzelli, Leilani Fideler, Michael Fideler, Stratton Coffman, Graham Coffman and Isabel Coffman; 1 great-grandchild, Emma Pittman and one on the way. She is also survived by many dear nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank Dr. Robert Sayre and his staff, who lovingly guided Mitzi through most of this 5-year cancer journey, Abode Hospice, specifically Molly Thomson, Fabiola Hunt and Nathan Warn, for their incredible care during her last four months. Thank you to the numerous friends and other family who gave her joy through visits, cards, flowers, calls and meals, it all meant so much to her, and therefore to us.
Please join us in a celebration of Mitzi’s life to be held at Shove Chapel on the campus of Colorado College on Saturday, April 14th at 10:30 am, with a reception to follow at a venue to be announced at the service.
In lieu of flowers, Mitzi has requested donations be made to one of two organizations close to her heart, Susan G Komen Colorado South at 411 Lakewood Circle, B107, Colorado Springs, CO 80910, komencoloradosouth.org, or Theatreworks at 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, theatreworkscs.org.