Raymond J. Fitzpatrick, M.D., 93, urologist and 59-year resident of Gainesville, Fla., passed away at his home Tuesday morning, Dec. 11, 2012. He was born in New York City on Feb. 27, 1919, and attended St. Agnes Grammar and St. Agnes High Schools, graduating in 1931 and 1935 respectively. He received his BS Degree from Fordham University in 1939, where he was a member of the Glee Club and editor of the Cabmuth. He was awarded his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University on March 17, 1943 (St. Patrick"s Day!). In August 1943, he married Wetona Vernon of Roanoke, Va. A surgical internship followed at Bellevue Hospital, New York City, before entering the U.S. Army Medical Corps in January 1944. He served 14 months in the European Theatre of Operations during the active phase of the war earning three battle stars. His unit, 16th General Hospital, was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its activities during the Battle of the Bulge. He was separated from the service with the rank of captain in September 1946.
After a year of rotating internship at the Orange Memorial Hospital in Orlando, Fla., two years were spent in a general and industrial practice in the coal fields along the Virginia-West Virginia border. He then returned to Orlando where he entered a four-year preceptorship with the Orr Urological Group at Orange Memorial Hospital from 1949 to 1953. He entered the private practice of urology in Gainesville, Fla., at Alachua General Hospital in June 1953. He retired from practice March 17, 1985 (St. Patrick"s Day!).
Dr. Fitzpatrick was a diplomat of the American Board of Urology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the International College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Southeastern Surgical Congress. During this time, he represented urology on a month-long lecture tour around Central and South America and served in the same capacity for a similar tour of Ireland at another time. He held memberships in the Alachua County Medical Society, Florida Medical Association, American Medical Association, Florida Urological Society, and was past president of the State Chapter of the International College of Surgeons. In 1978 and 1979 he was elected chief of staff of Alachua General Hospital. In 1973 he served on the executive committee of the medical staff of North Florida Regional Hospital and was staff secretary in 1974. He was also elected by the Florida Medical Society to be a member of the board of directors of Florida Blue Shield and served in that capacity from 1975 to 1980. He also served on various committees of the Florida Medical Society over the years and as chairman of several. That equally applies to all Alachua General Hospital medical staff committees and chairmanships over more than 30 years of urological practice. He founded Hospice of North Central Florida (now Haven Hospice) and served as its first medical director from 1979 to 1984. He was the author of a score of published papers on urologic subjects. He was licensed to practice in West Virginia and Florida and was a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Fitzpatrick was a founding member of the Florida Museum of Natural History Associates and edited their newsletter for four years, from 1986 to 1990. He was also a founding member of The Harn Museum Alliance. In his early years in Gainesville, he was a member of Rotary, the Gainesville Golf and Country Club and St. Patrick"s Catholic Church.
Since his retirement from the practice of medicine, he became a member of the St. Augustine Historical Society, and engaged in original research on the Matanzas Massacres. He and his wife became life members of the Hospice Alliance.
In 1994 he published his first book of poetry, "Thirty Selected Poems." A second book was published in 1999 entitled "Poems: Three-Score-Ten-and-More," presented to the Hospice Gift Shop to sell for their benefit. A third book of Poetry, "101 Poetic Thoughts" was published in 2003.
His other hobbies included sculpting in wood and stone, for which he had been awarded several ribbons at art shows Ñ when he could be coaxed to enter. He also wrote a number of short mystery stories, which he polished up late in life. He and his wife "Tony" celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1993.
He is survived by three children, son Kevin Scott Fitzpatrick (wife Kimberly Lake Fitzpatrick and their daughter, granddaughter, Hannah Elizabeth Fitzpatrick) of Bay St. Louis, Miss., and Kevin"s children by their mother, Kat Fitzpatrick, Liam Scott Fitzpatrick (wife Melissa and their daughter, "Doc"s" great-granddaughter, Riley Grace Fitzpatrick) of Louisville, Ky., Molly Fitzpatrick Martin (her husband Steve Martin) of Nashville, Tenn., Dr. Fitzpatrick"s daughter, Jean Ellen Fitzpatrick (her husband Henri Bos) of St. Augustine, Fla., Dr. Fitzpatrick"s son, Raymond J. Fitzpatrick Jr. of Gainesville, and Dr. Fitzpatrick"s stepbrother, Ken Van Nortwick (wife Terry Van Nortwick) of Gainesville.
He always enjoyed family, friends, pets, good company, good books, good humor, art, music, canoeing wild rivers and streams, visiting mountains and beaches, travel, and of course, his profession.
A private celebration of his life will be arranged at a later date by his family. His ashes will be carried out to sea to join those of his wife, who passed away in 2006. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the University of Florida Foundation, on behalf of the Florida Museum of Natural History, choosing any of the following endowments: Ornithology, Florida archaeology or the butterfly rain forest. Or in memory of Raymond J. Fitzpatrick Sr. MD, simply plant a tree.
Personal messages to the family can be posted on the following websites: firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com/obits.
Arrangements are under the care of Milam Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St, Gainesville, FL (352) 376-5361.