Cover photo for Norman Edwin Fite's Obituary

Norman Edwin Fite

Norman Edwin Fite

, 74, of Chandler, AZ passed away on February 22, 2021. He grew up in Berkley, MI, with his parents, Jane and Don, and his brother, Owen Russell Fite. Norman is survived by his son, Owen Gunehame Fite of Boulder, CO, and his nephew and grandnephew, Barak, and River of Higgins Lake, MI.

Norman attended Berkley High School and went on to study at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH where he received his bachelor’s degree. He joined the Peace Corps in the 1970s and taught English while he was stationed in Northern Thailand. After stints selling motorcycles and starting up a men’s clothing store overseas, he found his way back to the states to complete his MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ. Norman found employment with the Royal Bank of Canada and worked in Toronto, Colorado, London, and Arizona over the following decades.

Growing weary of donning a necktie (quite literally), Norman left the banking industry in the early 1990s and practiced real estate in Arizona, clad in a Hawaiian shirt. He helped develop the “Cottonwoods of Tempe” and later the “Pueblo at Andersen Springs”. After starting with Realty Executives


Norman and his wife at the time, Patrida, created their own real estate company, Sawadee Realty, which specialized in the purchase of homes and restaurants for Thais and Thai Americans.

Patrida and Norman entered the restaurant business themselves around 2008. At one point, they owned the Thai Basil restaurants in Ahwatukee and in Downtown Phoenix, the latter of which continues to be owned by them.

In his later years, Norman spent time with one of the many beloved terriers he cared for throughout his life. He was an avid swimmer and traded his love of tennis for pickleball. Between making the rounds to his favorite neighborhood stops like the Ahwatukee YMCA and Chandler Floridino’s, Norman enjoyed helping as a dishwasher at the Downtown Phoenix Thai Basil kitchen, occasionally leaving town to find peace camping in Northern Arizona.

A commemorative ceremony will be held from 9:30 am-12:00 pm this Saturday, February 27 in Chandler, Arizona. For details about the in-person ceremony and the opportunity to join online over Zoom, please contact Owen at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norman Edwin Fite, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 17

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree