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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Damiano Funeral Home

Obituary for Joseph P. Fitzgerald

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Colonel Joseph P. Fitzgerald (U.S. Army, Retired) of Long Branch, NJ passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Ellen (Carey) and Joseph Fitzgerald, he was a proud graduate of Brooklyn Preparatory School and began his military career in September 1959 through ROTC subsequent to earning his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from St. Peter’s College, Jersey City.

Retiring from active duty after more than 28 years of service in the Signal Corps, Colonel Fitzgerald was a decorated veteran, notably receiving the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, amongst others. His career took he and his family all over the world including tours of duty in Germany, England, Vietnam and the Pentagon, and his military schooling included the Army Command and General Staff College and Army War College. Joe also received a Master of Arts in systems engineering from the University of Arizona.

Despite a distinguished career, Joe considered his greatest accomplishment the family he built with his beloved wife of 56 years, Edith "Edie" (Parkin). Affectionately known as Papa Joe and El Rojo Grande (ERG/Big Red) Joe was known for his generosity of spirit, devotion to his family and his charming Irish wit - he was Old School - a product of his Jesuit education: wise, proud, wicked smart, generous, a devout Catholic, father figure to many, and always with an Irish twinkle in his eye - he will be greatly missed, especially by "his troops".

Predeceased by his parents and brother Thomas, he is survived by Edith, sons Brian (Kathleen, deceased) and Thomas (Elizabeth), daughters Mary (Kurt) Switala, Patricia "PJ" (Chris) Zirkle and Carole (Tony) Lohmeier; twelve grandchildren, Bradley, Tyler, Konrad, Gwendolyn, Mitchell, Colin, Zachary, Jack, Benjamin, Finn, Teagan and Madeline; his sister, Mary Patricia (James) Hamilton and many nieces, nephews, and cousins both here and in Ireland. The family gratefully thanks the staff of Monmouth Medical Center for their loving care of ERG.

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 26 from 4-8 pm at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Avenue in Long Branch. Funeral, Saturday; 12 noon at the funeral home with a Mass at 1 pm at St. Michael’s Church in West End. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517 or to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence, light a memorial candle or make a memorial donation by selecting the appropriate tab.

Visitation

When Friday, April 26th, 2019 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Location
Damiano Funeral Home
Address
191 Franklin Ave
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Service Information

When
Saturday, April 27th, 2019 1:00pm
Officiating
Reverend John Butler
Location
Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church
Address
800 Ocean Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
Service Extra Info
Family and friends may gather at the funeral home at 12 noon.

Interment Information

Location
Arlington National Cemetery
Address
Arlington, VA 22211
Interment Extra Info
With date and time to be announced.