Neil Jerome Fitzpatrick, age 81, of Monroe Township, formerly of Matawan, passed peacefully into God’s arms on Sunday, Dec. 10, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family.
Neil was born on May 21, 1936 in Nutley. He was the youngest son of the late William G. and Dorothea Heim Fitzpatrick. He attended St. Joseph School in Keyport and graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School in 1953. Neil earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont in 1958 and was awarded a Certificate of Teaching from Kean University in Union. For 14 years during his academic career Neil studied piano under many inspiring instructors, including Dr. Richard Stohr while in attendance at St. Michael’s College.
In his early professional career, Neil worked in the insurance industry before he left to follow his passion for music. Neil shared his gift of music and religious devotion through his work at St James Catholic School and Church as a music teacher and Director of Music for over 30 years. Through his work he was able to touch the lives of several generations of families. He will forever be remembered by his students and the church parishioners for the Christmas plays and midnight Mass productions that often included a full choir and music ensemble. Neil also was an avid history buff and reader who enjoyed historical biographies of American presidents. Neil’s greatest passion in life was his love and devotion to his family.
In addition to his professional career, Neil served in the N.J. Army National Guard, was a member of the American Legion and Kiwanis International and served as an officer in the Catholic Young Adults Club (CYACS).
Neil is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Anna Ritacco Fitzpatrick of Monroe Township, along with his four children and their spouses, KellieAnn and Vincent Capatasto of Cliffwood, Kathleen and Jesus Powers of Jackson, Kevin and Christine Fitzpatrick of Clermont, Florida, and Kristen and Mark Riley of East Brunswick; his nine adored grandchildren, Gianna, Sophia, Salvatore, Noelle, Hailey, Rosa, Shawn, Michael and Christopher; two siblings, Gertrude Fitzpatrick Rogers and Robert J. Fitzpatrick, both of Matawan; and many loving nieces, nephews and relatives.
Neil was preceded in death by his oldest brother, William G. Fitzpatrick Jr.
Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. at St James Catholic Church in Red Bank. Burial will follow the service at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to America Needs Fatima or the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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