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John W. FitzGerald Jr. (1961 - 2013)

Obituary
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John W. FitzGerald Jr. died unexpectedly on August 23, 2013, in the waters off Nantucket Island. He was 51. Born in Needham on August 24, 1961 to Eleanor C. and John W. FitzGerald, John was a lifelong Needham resident. Enormously well liked, John cultivated strong friendships with people from all parts of his life. With a quick wit and pirate grin, Johns charm and his wry sense of humor were his most marked characteristics, treasured by family and friends alike. He leaves his wife of 27 years Barbara FitzGerald, and five beloved children; Brian, Matthew, Thomas, Janet and Molly, as well as an adopted son, Jean Baptiste. The family will remember a father who worked hard, and spent precious family time at their homes in Chatham, Massachusetts and Big Pine Key, Florida. He loved to join them in activities like swimming, fishing, skiing and snowboarding. He was proud of his children and spent many happy hours watching his sons play Pop Warner football and his daughter Janet, an award-winning cheerleader, on the field. He shared a love of animals with his family, and enjoyed their menagerie of pets including dogs, cats, hedgehogs, guinea pigs and an iguana. Through his precious youngest daughter, Molly, he even grew to love Chinchillas. Many longtime Needham residents will never forget Johns appearance in the towns annual 4th of July parade. John, who was in elementary school,dressed as an organ grinder for the popular Horribles walk. On his shoulder was the familys pet Spider Monkey, George. Halfway through the parade, George broke his tether and scampered up a nearby telephone pole, leaving John in tears and halting the parade until the Needham Fire Department could dispatch the ladder truck and a firefighter to retrieve the wayward monkey. John attended Needham High School where he distinguished himself in sports, particularly in wrestling. He graduated in 1979 and began to work as a masons apprentice. In 1982 he started his own company, FitzGerald Masonry and became known for his hard work and skilled craftsmanship building custom stonework in some of New Englands most beautiful homes. Later, Johns sons, Brian and Matthew joined him in the family business and John proudly changed the name of his company to FitzGerald & Sons Masonry. An avid sportsman, John enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was an accomplished bow hunter, hunting deer and wild turkey as a member of the Medfield Sportsmans Club in Medfield, Massachusetts. On a trip to Alaska to hunt bear with his brothers, Kevin and Billy, John took a black bear that became a beautiful rug and prized possession. He was a passionate and experienced fisherman who enjoyed deep-sea fishing off the East Coast from Cape Cod to Big Pine Key. John also found time for golf occasionally and to his delighted surprise made a hole in one while playing in his very first tournament. He is survived by his mother Eleanor C. FitzGerald and his nine siblings: Maura FitzGerald of Boston; Kate FitzGerald of New London, NH; William FitzGerald of Talkeetna, AK; Kevin FitzGerald of Talkeetna, AK; Anne FitzGerald of Brooklin, ME; Margaret Rogers of Fairbanks, AK; Eleanor FitzGerald of Brooklyn, NY; Michael FitzGerald of Los Angeles, CA and Candace FitzGerald of New London, NH; and in-laws Allen P. Carney, Ute FitzGerald, Jody FitzGerald and Jeff Rogers; and by eight nieces and nephews and more than 25 first cousins. A memorial service has been scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the American Legion Nonantum, Post 440, 295 California St., Newton, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Johns name to the Medfield Sportsmans Club, P.O. Box 447 Medfield, MA 02052

Published in The Needham Times from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, 2013
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