NORTH CANAAN – Mr. Joseph T. Fitzpatrick, 77, passed away unexpectedly Sunday evening January 27th at Sharon Hospital after a brief illness. Joe was born April 21, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA where he was known on the streets as "The K.O. Kid". He was the son of the late Joseph George Fitzpatrick and Barbara (Eslinger) Fitzpatrick. He is survived by his sisters, Kathleen Gregoria of Pennsylvania and Joan Kennedy of New Jersey. His brother Gerard Fitzpatrick predeceased him. He served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1959. His early visits to the Far East during his Naval deployment spurred his interest and fascination with the oriental culture. He went on to further his education and worked as a welder for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft where he retired as a foreman. During his years at Pratt he often undertook other endeavors as a painter, bakery owner, and landlord. After his retirement, Joe enjoyed working for Metro North as a conductor. His thirst for adventure prompted him to relocate to Busan, South Korea, where he taught English as a second language to both children and adults for more than sixteen years. He traveled extensively to many parts of the world and enjoyed an adventurous, full, and interesting life. His generosity and kindness touched the lives of many people in many places of the world. He enjoyed cultural activities such as music, art, and philosophy. His fondness for animals of all kind brought him great joy. He loved life and humor, and his thirst for knowledge continued throughout his life.
Joseph's love for his family brought him back to the states in 2010. Joseph is survived by his five children; Barbara Lindquist of Butte, Montana, Gerard Fitzpatrick of Middletown, Connecticut, Traci Johnson of Pearcy, Arkansas, Leslie and Geoffrey Klish of Canaan, Connecticut, and Celeste Fitzpatrick of Fairfield, New Jersey. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; Sarah Clark, Kelsey Allen, Courtney Fitzpatrick, Dustin Fitzpatrick, Brittany Fitzpatrick, Liam Johnson and Carlen Johnson and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Joseph's life will be held at Saint Joseph's Church, 4 Main Street, Canaan, Connecticut at 11:00 on Wednesday, January 30. In lieu of flowers, the family is kindly requesting donations be made in his honor to: The Little Guild of Saint Francis in West Cornwall, CT or Saint Jude's Hospital.
Published in The Middletown Press on Jan. 31, 2013