Jerry M. Fitzgerald
October 9, 1941 – November 17, 2021
Jerry Michael Fitzgerald, (AKA Jeremiah Michael James Fitzgerald Jr.) born in Paris, Illinois on October 9, 1941. He left earth for the loving arms of Jesus on November 17, 2021, in Omaha, Nebraska.
Jerry’s Uncle Jim gave him a harmonica when he was five years old. A few minutes later, out came a song he had heard on the radio earlier that day. Jerry went on to master the piano, guitar, banjo, fiddle, accordion, etc…mostly self-taught. He loved to play for his friends and family. Jerry played guitar and sang in numerous bands including Wildwoods, Vigilantes, and High Valley Drifters. If it was old and country, he knew it and memorized over 500 songs. Jerry also wrote many of his own songs including Picture on the Wall and Carolina Moon.
He loved his family, Harleys, hats, and his dogs. His guitar collection would put the biggest rock stars to shame. God gave Jerry many gifts, and he was not afraid to use them for good. You could call him a triple threat in some sense with his hard-working family man ethics, his ability to entertain and make everyone in the room be glad they were there, not to mention his rugged good looks. Jerry also loved to give away guitars to the next generations because of his love of music and how grateful he was to have found his talent and used it at a young age.
He also loved camping and travel and spent many summer and winter vacations traveling the United States and later the world. Jerry absolutely loved going to Sturgis, South Dakota with his nephews and friends. He also spent many Christmases dressed up in his Santa suit for all his young nieces and nephews in Paris, Il. One of his last visits to Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent many winters after retirement, he rode his Harley in the Santa suit showing up at events to greet everyone as Jolly St. Nick.
Jerry worked 40 years at Western Electric, was President of the Pioneers Club, Auctioneer, and Lead Singer and Guitarist in multiple bands . Music was part of his life every day and he loved to entertain his family and friends. He was a bell ringer for Salvation Army, served at Boys and Girls Club, and member of St. Gerald Catholic Church.
Forever remembered by his loving wife, Linda Fitzgerald; sister, Rosemary Hopper; daughters: Peggy Hattam (Paul), Rose Burke (Jeff), Kelly Fowler (Judge); grandchildren: Heather McShannon (Nick), Aubrey Mitchell (William), Taylor Lamb (Aaron), Shannon Tipton (Jon), MacKenzie Fowler; great-grandchildren: Nevaeh McShannon, Abraham and Clementine Mitchell and Lindsey Lamb; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Preceded in death by his parents, Jerry and Marguerite Fitzgerald; brothers: Jack, Patrick, Paul Fitzgerald; sister, Joan Larimer; daughter, Jerretta Fitzgerald; grandson, Joshua Hattam.
The family will receive friends Friday, November 19th from 5pm to 7pm. FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, November 20that 10am, all at West Center Chapel. Interment: Calvary Cemetery on Monday, November 22nd at 11am. Memorials are suggested to Toys for Tots.
To view a live broadcast of Funeral Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.