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John "Jack" L. Fitzgerald

August 4, 1928 — November 21, 2023


John "Jack" L. Fitzgerald


John L. Fitzgerald (Jack) left this world peacefully on November 21,2023 after a long well-lived life at the age of 95. He remained healthy, sturdy and young at heart into his early nineties.

Born August 4, 1928 to John and Madeline Fitzgerald, he was raised in Clifton, New Jersey an only child having lost a brother and a sister at birth. His mother died when Jack was a young teenager, when his stepmother stepped in to help raise him. As a result of childhood circumstances he became and was always independent and a self thinking individual. Jack attended Clifton High School and he graduated from Lafayette College in 1950 with a degree in Administrative Engineering. When the country was mired down in the Korean War, Jack found himself in the Army where he served for a year and a half in Germany patrolling the Fulda Gap. In 1953 he married Diane Astarita in Montclair New Jersey and together they went on to have two sons: John Fitzgerald born in 1956 and David Fitzgerald born in 1959.

As a young family they lived in Cedar Grove, New Jersey and Rumson, New Jersey where Jack started his business in real estate development. In 1971 Jack moved his family to Colorado Springs. On November 17, 1983 misfortune struck when his wife and mother of his two children, Diane, passed away. 

Three years later he married Phyllis Kavookjian Mooney to whom he was still married to the end of his life. Jack and then Phyllis lived in Florida and Colorado Springs with frequent jaunts to New Jersey where they both were raised, where family lives and where Jack kept commercial real estate properties for many years. Jack was an avid golfer and, because of his love for the game, over the years he had golf memberships at Upper Montclair Country Club (New Jersey), Navesink Country Club, (New Jersey), Mariner Sands Country Club (Florida) and The Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He played golf several times a week and enjoyed golf trips around the world. He was active in several senior golf associations including the International Seniors where he was past president, World Seniors and the Mexican Seniors. These golf groups took him to Europe and other overseas destinations many times to play at wonderful golf courses. He was shooting his age into his seventies and well through his eighties and still playing golf into his nineties. 

He loved to downhill ski and enjoyed countless ski days in his adult life with his family first on the east coast and then with friends and family in Colorado, mostly at Vail. For years he was part of an annual “boys” ski trip with friends from Colorado and Florida that he thoroughly enjoyed well into his eighties. The annual ski groups at Vail ended while Jack was in his 80’s as most of the group aged out or exited this world. Jack was still healthy and able to ski which he still enjoyed with his family. Part of his Colorado family skied with him the last time at Vail when he was around the age of 90. Jack also would decide on a whim that he wanted to ski in Switzerland so off we would go, by himself. 

He owned different boats while living by the water in both New Jersey and Florida. He spent endless hours of pleasure tinkering and cleaning his boats and enjoying taking friends and family out on the water for most of his life. Jack described himself as a “grease monkey”, never without a car he could get under the hood and work on. From an early age, he would revive cars that most would think were on their last leg. He loved and owned several vintage cars in his life that he kept running and were in impeccable shape. 

In New Jersey he founded Johnstowne Building Corporation in 1955 and at one point was the president of the New Jersey Shore Builders Association. In Colorado he started Oxbow Company where he had projects in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. His working career was as a homebuilder and real estate developer. He leaves behind a legacy of generosity, independence, fairness, a love for family, a love for cookies, junk food and fast food hamburger joints, and the ability and determination to “fix” all kinds of things himself. He instilled in his two sons a sense of value and frugality. 

Surviving him are his two children, John Fitzgerald (Heather) of Colorado Springs, Colorado and David Fitzgerald (Tracy) of Littleton Colorado, 5 grandchildren: Ashley, John, Amy, Drew and Mark and 6 great grandchildren: Reese, Fitzgerald, Breck, Camryn, Matthew and Abigail. Phyllis, his wife survives him as well as her four children and families. A service will be held on Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 with an inurnment with full U.S. Army Honors followed by a Service at 11:00 am at Mariner Sands Chapel, 6500 SE Congressional Drive, Stuart, Florida.

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