Thomas Joseph Fitzgerald, age 76, of Wilmington, passed away on March 10, 2015 at the Meadowview Nursing Center in North Reading, following a lengthy illness.
Tom was born on December 2, 1938 in North Creek, NY; he was the cherished son of the late Andrew Barron and Elizabeth (Little) Fitzgerald. Thomas was raised in a large family; he was the youngest of 10 children.
During his senior year of high school, Tom enlisted in the Army. He joined on July 11, 1957 and worked in the Army Security Agency, mostly in Berlin, Germany in the 1950’s. After being honorably discharged from the Army on July 10, 1963, Tom took the computer skills he had learned in the Army and moved to Boston to seek his future. He obtained a job at Sears Terminal Freight.
While living in Boston Tom met and married Ethel (Cook) Fitzgerald. The couple soon bought the home Ethel’s father had built in Wilmington and raised their two sons, Tom and Scot, there. Tom was a devoted father; he always put his sons first. He was a den leader for Boy Scouts, brought the boys to karate, swimming, soccer games, and many family vacations.
After retiring from the post office, Tom and Ethel moved to West Paris, Maine, a tiny town that reminded him of his beloved boyhood town of North Creek, New York. They lived there for 5 years, enjoying the quiet peacefulness of small town life, making many friends in the community. When Ethel became ill, it was Tom who took care of all her needs, staying by her side until the end. Tom remained in Maine for another 5 years, getting involved in the community; one of his interests was in expanding the West Paris Public Library.
When Tom’s health began to fail, his family persuaded him to move back home. He moved in with his son Scot, daughter-in-law, Vickey and granddaughter Sabrina. Sabrina loved hearing his stories and would laugh at his jokes until he was laughing right along with her. Tom’s family loved hearing that sound; having him home for the last few years allowed Scot and Tom to reconnect with him, sharing old memories and creating new ones. Things were not always easy, but if they were it would not have been fun.
Tom had quite a few jobs involving computer work throughout his life. His pride and joy was Wizard Games of Scotland, a computer software game company that he and Ethel ran out of their home for many years.
Tom had a passion for gardening. When he was young, he helped his mother plant a Victory garden during World War II, because he said he “thought it was very important because it was the war effort.” That memory stayed with him throughout his life; when he and Ethel bought the house on Chandler Road, one of the first things Tom did was plant a garden. He loved working in that garden and was very proud of it.
Having grown up in New York and moved to Massachusetts, Tom was a die-hard Cubs fan, his family can remember that one of his favorite comments was he would die a happy man once the Cubs won the Series and he got to visit Scotland. Sadly, Tom did not see either of those dreams realized but the hope was still there after all those years.
Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, March 18th from 5:30 -6:30 p.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 6:30 p.m. Memorial Donations in Tom’s name may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 29 Crafts St # 450, Newton, MA 02458.