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Joan Dorothea Fitzgerald died peacefully at home on Saturday, June 16, 2012, surrounded by her family. She succumbed to her longtime battles with rheumatoid arthritis, and Parkinson's disease.

Joan was born on Sept. 9, 1930 in Canoga Park, California, the daughter of Des and Mary Barton. An only child, the family lived in Southern California, where Joan attended Canoga Park High School and graduated in 1947.

Joan married her high school sweetheart, Kenneth Fitzgerald on November 6, 1948. She joined Ken in Chico, where he had moved in 1947. Joan attended Chico State College after moving to Chico.

Ken and Joan lived on White Avenue in Chico for 19 years. They had a son, Douglas Wayne, and daughter, Susan Rebecca. Joan kept busy raising a family and teaching private swimming lessons in and around Chico. She developed a love of golf and time spent at the family cabin at Lake Philbrook. Joan served for a time as a member of the Women's Northern California Golf Association Course Rating Committee. Joan was also very active in the Chico Women's Club.

In 1966, the family moved to Susanville, and Joan worked part time in the high school library, and continued many of her golf affiliated activities. A very competitive woman, Joan was the Women's Club Champion at various golf clubs. Joan followed Ken and his banking career to Auburn, San Francisco, South America, Miami, and then back to California.

In 1978, Joan and Ken moved to Rancho Murieta, just outside Sacramento. Joan first became a licensed Real Estate agent, and then later a licensed broker. Joan served on the Architectural Review board at Rancho Murieta for several years.

Joan and Ken left Rancho Murieta in 2000, and returned to Chico, which they always considered their home.

Joan is survived by her husband, Kenneth; son, Douglas; lady friend, Jessie Doornik; daughter, Susan Erb; son-in-law, David Erb; four grandchildren, Jamie Erb Holt, Ryan Erb, Michael Fitzgerald, and Timothy Fitzgerald. Joan also has two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Jaidyn Holt, and another great-grandchild on the way to Ryan and wife Jill.

No service is currently planned. Joan's arrangements are being handled by Neptune Society per her wishes. A family celebration of life will be held later this summer at the family cabin.

Thank you to the caregivers from Interim HealthCare, and the assistance given from the nurses and staff at Enloe Hospice.

Donations in memory of Joan can be made to Enloe Hospice, 1390 East Lassen Avenue, Chico, CA 95926.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on June 21, 2012
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