The city of Tuscaloosa installed signage on Thursday finalizing the renaming of a downtown street in honor of a late local business leader.

As the Thread previously reported, the city council voted recently to rename three city streets to honor two businessmen of the past and one still-living civil rights leader-  Robert Almon, Gary Fitts and Maxie Thomas.

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6th Street officially became Gary Fitts Street Thursday in a ceremony attended by the city council and members of the Fitts family.

In a release, the city said Travis Gary Fitts was born on November 21, 1933 in Tuscaloosa, earned a degree from Vanderbilt University and attended flight school in Pensacola before enlisting in the Marine Corps reserves, where he served as an aviator for more than 30 years.

As a young man, he joined his father, Jim Fitts Jr. in their family insurance business and grew it into one of the largest independent agencies in West Alabama. Fitts died in 2022.

"Gary Fitts was a warrior, a husband, a father, a business leader, a civic leader and a giver to his community, family and friends around him, said Councilor Lee Busby.

"Gary Fitts was a difference maker in his life. He treated everyone with respect," Mayor Walt Maddox said. "And when the City takes an opportunity to rename one of its thoroughfares, this is absolutely the standard we should have."

His son Forrest Fitts continues to lead the Fitts Agency as its CEO and was at the ceremony Thursday to honor his father.

"I feel his presence now as we're here today to recognize his lifetime of doing the right thing in service to God, his family, his country and his community," said Forrest Fitts. "My family is honored by this recognition and we thank you all for being here with us today."

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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

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