Denis Fitzgerald, 92, of Tinton Falls, and formerly of Toms River and Rego Park, New York, died peacefully on Jan. 11 at home. He was born in 1925 on a farm in Dromulton, County Kerry, Ireland. He was the youngest son of John Fitzgerald and Ellen (Eileen) Coffey Fitzgerald. He attended primary and secondary school in Ireland, emigrated to the United States in 1948 and was later joined by his future
wife and the love of his life, Abbie O’Sullivan. He was always proud that he began working the day after he disembarked from the ship (SS Ernie Pyle) that brought him to New York.
On June 24, 1950, he married Abbie, also a native of County Kerry, Ireland, and after a brief time in Greenpoint, New York they lived in Queens for 36 years. Denis worked for the New York Telephone Company for more than 35 years, rising to the rank of Building Foreman and, in his later years, focusing on energy-efficient buildings. After moving to Toms River in 1987, he became an avid golfer and enjoyed playing golf locally and as far away as Hawaii and Ireland. A lifetime member of the Kerrymen’s P&B Association of New York, he passed his deep love for Irish dance, music and culture to his children and grandchildren. He sacrificed so much to provide his children with quality high school and college educations and many music and dancing lessons. Denis loved to be with people and always had a kind word or an Irish tale to share.
Denis was preceded in death by Abbie, his wife of 59 years and was her deeply devoted caregiver for many years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s. He was also preceded in death by his older brothers, Patrick (Paddy), John and Timothy (Timmy). He is survived by his son, John Fitzgerald and daughter-in-law Ann of Dagsboro, Deleware; his son, Dr. Denis Fitzgerald and daughter-in-law Karen of Colts Neck; his son, Patrick Fitzgerald and daughter-in-law Marilyn of Kamuela, Hawaii; his daughter, Eileen Fitzgerald and son-in-law Andrew Givens of Takoma Park, Maryland; seven grandchildren: Siobhan Alexander and her husband Philip; Michael Fitzgerald and his wife Kathryn; Kate O’Neill and her husband Trevor; Conor Fitzgerald, Ryan Fitzgerald, Kiera Givens and Maeve Givens; and four great-grandchildren: Jacqueline and Victoria Alexander and John and William Fitzgerald. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation was Jan. 14 at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Jan. 15 at St. James Catholic Church in Red Bank. Interment followed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Toms River. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution be made to the Retirement Fund for the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Attn: Sister Patricia Coyle, 253 Knickerbocker Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670.
Please visit Denis’s memorial website at johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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