Frank L. Fitzgerald, 92, devoted husband, loving father and proud grandfather, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 31, 2018. For the past 15 years he was a resident at Meadow Lakes in Highstown, NJ. Prior to that he lived with his family for many years in West Orange, NJ. He was predeceased by his wife Mary.
Frank was born on December 30, 1925 to Marguerite and Joseph Fitzgerald. He grew up in the Doddtown section of East Orange, NJ where he spent the summers playing baseball and basketball in Soverell Park with his three older brothers, Joe, Ed and Jack. “Mugsy” to his friends, Frank graduated from Clifford J Scott High School in Doddtown. After graduation he joined the Navy where he was a Radarman on the Henry S Tucker and served in the Pacific theater. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at Seton Hall College on the GI Bill, graduating in 1949 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting.
Frank married Mary E. Burke in 1953, having met her on a blind date set up by his brother Joe, and Mary’s brother and Joe’s best friend, Jack Burke. They lived briefly in East Orange and Sayerville prior to settling in West Orange, NJ where they lived for 40 years and raised their family of three boys, Frank Jr, Jim and Rick and their daughter Margaret (Peggy), who sadly passed away early in life.
After graduating from Seton Hall, Frank spent most of his career working in New York City for American Metal Climax Company in financial and trading roles, eventually retiring as Treasurer of Ametalco in 1980. After retiring, Frank and Mary traveled extensively and particularly loved visiting Ireland, Italy and Jim’s family in Seattle, WA when they lived there.
As the last surviving male member of his generation of the family, Frank was affectionately known by his family as the Patriarch of the East. He particularly loved to spend time with his grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews, as he would combine his Irish gift of gab with his incredible memory to recount family stories and history.
Frank is survived by his two sons, Jim and Frank and their wives, Linda and Nina, as well as his six grandchildren, Conor, Shannon, Corey, Nina, Anya, and Sofie. He is also survived by some 32 nieces and nephews and their children. There will be visitation at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton, NJ from 8:45 to 9:30 on Saturday, August 4, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 10:00 AM at St Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Foundation at NJIT – Fitzgerald Scholarship, care of Scott Morrison, Director of Athletic Development, NJIT Athletics, University Heights, Newark, NJ, 07102.
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