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Gerald "Jerry" Roland Fitzgerald (2017)


Posted By: Shirley Keating (email)
Date: 10/4/2017 at 23:52:07

Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gerald "Jerry" Fitzgerald, Windsor Heights

Gerald "Jerry" Roland Fitzgerald, of Windsor Heights, IA, departed this life on Monday, October 2, 2017, at the age of 87.

Jerry was born to parents John and Helen Fitzgerald on August 5, 1930, in Milwaukee, WI, one of nine children. He graduated from Sacred Heart College in Watertown, WI, in 1947. He received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Notre Dame in 1952, magna cum laude. After, he taught high school science. He returned to Notre Dame to earn a Masters of Science in Biology in 1961 and Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology in 1967. Jerry married Carol Mary Trapp in 1963, and together they had 10 children, until Carol's death in 1983. In 1986, Jerry married Barbara Jean (Loney) Hunt.

Jerry had a full life and a sensitive caring heart. He liked to tell us about his childhood exploits, the card-playing club he belonged to, the bike ride to and from Milwaukee to Racine, WI—in one day—and the hawk he raised as a pet. After high school, he joined the Congregation of Holy Cross brothers at Notre Dame. One of his favorite stories of his time in the brotherhood was how he'd stay up all night reading. He was a self-described bibliophile. He left the brotherhood in 1960, while he was teaching high school. In 1964, he received the Allen County Cancer Society Research Fellow. From 1968 to 1975, he taught Microbiology first at the University of Tennessee and later at Drake University. When he retired in 1996, he was vice president of Regulatory Affairs at Ambico and had spent many years in viral immunology.

He was very generous and gave to many causes, volunteering in his retirement with many organizations. Jerry was particularly moved to help people learn to read and to eat—no one should go hungry. His final wishes are that you are always kind and thoughtful of others, and that you pray for his soul.

Jerry is survived by his children, Edward (Nancy), Ian, Charles, Bridget (Anthony), Molly (Jim) Nelson, Padraic, Kate, James, Mary Jo (Emil) Munguia, Peter and Blue Morningsnow, and his seven grandchildren. Also left to cherish his memory are his stepchildren, Steve (Kathy) Hunt, Debbie (Randy) Hullinger, Russ (Nora) Hunt, Kevin (Mary Jane) Hunt, and their children. He was preceded in death by his wives, Carol and Barbara.

Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Iles Westover Chapel. There will be a rosary at 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church on Friday, October 6, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Earlham Cemetery, Earlham, Iowa.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Sisters of Divine Providence, San Antonio, TX, or to any local food pantry.

Link to Gravestone Photo

Madison Obituaries maintained by Kent Transier.
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