Joseph D. Fitzgerald
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Fitzgerald, Joseph D.

Joseph D. Fitzgerald, 79, entered his eternal and heavenly home on May 17, 2020. Survived by his advocate and best friend of 54 years, Judith Fitzgerald. Cherished father of Joseph (Colette), Jennifer (Wesley Wright), Julie, and Amy (Thomas Ruggieri). Proud PaPa of Elizabeth, Molly, and Katherine Quaid; Joseph, Daniel, Charles, Sarah, and Michael Fitzgerald; Kellen and Tessa Wright; and Francesca and Leo Ruggieri. Faithful uncle to Mary Ann, Patrick, Michael (Pamela), Joseph (Whitney), Erin, John (Moshi), and Christopher Fitzgerald. Dear brother-in-law to Jill. Best buddy to Oliver. Joe is survived by countless cousins, family, and friends who benefited from his generous and compassionate heart. Preceded in death by his loving parents James I and Ann, brother James II, sister Kathleen, nephew James III, and great-nephew Nicholas. Joe was a proud graduate of St. Felicitas Grammar School (1954) and Mendel Catholic High School (1958), where he was a contributing member of the 1957 Prep Bowl Championship football team and held state records in track and field. Joe graduated from Southern Illinois University (1966) and began a career in special education with Chicago Public Schools. He left the classroom to help manage the family produce business, but he always remained an educator at heart to his "extended family" of beloved coworkers at Finer Foods, Inc. Joe retired in 2009 as the Executive Vice President and devoted himself to his grandchildren. Joe often said his greatest accomplishment was his family, and he always valued the importance of his faith, friends, and colleagues. Joe's hope is to be remembered through kindness. Please spread kindness, not only to those close to you but to others -- especially the front-line medical workers. The Fitzgerald family is indebted to the Advocate Christ Medical Center staff who cared for Joe during his brief battle with COVID. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Smile Train (, RUSH University Medical Center COVID-19 Response Fund (, and Advocate Health Care Charitable Foundation ( As a longtime parishioner of St. John Fisher Church, a Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, May 27, at 4:00 pm at 10235 S. Fairfield, Chicago. Pandemic regulations will be followed. Live stream available at

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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on May 16, 2021.
Funeral Mass
04:00 PM
10235 S. Fairfield
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
June 13, 2021
My condolences and sympathies to the Fitzgerald family. Sorry I couldn't make the wake/mass.. I guess I wont see you for a while but when I get up there coach, put me in I'm ready to make some tackles. You were a good guy sorry to see you go. Hey Joe, I was talking to some of the 1960/61 St Felicitas football team and they said you gave me the name Spider. They said you gave erybody their name. The Bull, the Bear, Firpo, LG etc even some of the cheerleaders like double bubble. What a good time it was during that football season
Chuck "Spider" Fabing
May 23, 2021
Always to be remembered. The many kindnesses of Joseph, Kathleen and the whole Fitzgerald family throughout the years to our family.
Louridas and Niforos families
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