Marine Colonel, Respected Teacher dies at 84

Col. Edward Francis Fitzgerald. Credit: Memorial Funeral Home
Col. Edward Francis Fitzgerald. Credit: Memorial Funeral Home
Colonel Edward Francis Fitzgerald, of Portsmouth, died Thursday, Dec. 12, at home.

Born on July 15, 1930, in Jaffrey, NH, he was the son of the late Mary G. 
Blanchette Fitzgerald Wilder, and Edward R. Fitzgerald. He was the stepson of the late Tracy P. Wilder. Colonel Fitzgerald served his country in the United States Marine Corps for 31 years, and was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a decorated infantry and military officer and held numerous command and staff positions. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat V, Navy Commendation Medal, Presidential and Navy Unit Citations, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and numerous other awards and citations. After retirement in 19893, he was employed in management positions by McLaughlin Research Corp and Aquidneck Management Associates.

He was a 1952 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and received his master’s degree from Boston University. He was also a graduate of the Naval War College, and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School.

In 1990 Mr. Fitzgerald began a second career as a substitute teacher at Portsmouth High School, where he taught for 20 years. “Mr. Fitz” was a committed and enthusiastic teacher well known among the students for his energy and genuine caring. In addition to teaching, he chaperoned social gatherings, attended intramural athletic events, advised clubs, and organized and oversaw a yearly field trip to New York City’s Financial District.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 20 years, Winnie Cosby Ashook 
Fitzgerald, who died April 10, 2013, and by his wife of 36 years, Margery Cadoo Fitzgerald, who died in 1990. He leaves behind four grandchildren: C Kaitlyn Fitzgerald, C Patrick Lombardi, C Tara Lombardi, and Emily Katherine Weber. He also leaves one nephew, two nieces and many cousins.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, from 4-8pm in
Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI. Funeral mass will 
be, held on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 10:30am St. Barnabas Church, 
1697 East Main Road, Portsmouth, and burial with military honors will follow at 
St. Columba’s Catholic Cemetery, Middletown, RI.

Memorial donations may be made to the Colonel Edward Francis Fitzgerald 
Honorary Scholarship Fund, Portsmouth High School, 120 Education Lane, 
Portsmouth, RI, 02871.

Click here to read the full obituary and express your feelings. Also, please feel free to pay tribute to "Mr. Fitz" in the comments section below.


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