Jerry M. Fitzgerald

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 and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.



  • Egypciel Victor-Lowderback Posted November 19, 2021 7:06 am

    Dear Kelly and family,

    What a pleasure it was to read about your dad and his amazing talent for music and lighting up a room with his presence. My heart goes out to you and your whole family, and I pray for the Lord’s peace that surpasses all understanding to surround you and comfort you at this time.
    Egypciel Victor-Lowderback (your loving MOW family)

    • Kelly Posted November 20, 2021 8:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your prayers and king words Egypciel. I could feel all the prayers from so many. Blessings, Kelly

    • Kelly Fowler Posted November 20, 2021 8:27 pm

      Egypciel Victor Lowderback, Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughtfulness. Love and blessings to you. – Kelly

  • Deborah Streetman Posted November 19, 2021 9:24 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You are saying good bye for now. May God grant you serenity and soothe your broken heart.

    • Kelly Posted November 20, 2021 8:18 pm

      Thank you so much for your prayers .

    • Kelly Fowler Posted November 20, 2021 8:28 pm

      Thanks so much for your note Deborah. It is goodbye for now. Blessings, Kelly

  • Elise Botero Posted November 19, 2021 9:39 am

    Dear Kelly and family,
    I am honored to have met your Dad as he visited Charleston. What a talented man he was. I am grateful also for the guitar he helped us give to our son Gabriel.May you and your family be comforted by our Heavenly Father as you celebrate your Dads life and his legacy.
    Peace to you my friend,
    Elise Botero

    • Kelly Fowler Posted November 20, 2021 8:30 pm

      Thanks so much Elise, my dad was thrilled to help Gabriel find his guitar. Thanks for your sweet comment and prayers for the family. We could feel all the prayers for us. We could feel the presence of the Lord as we celebrated his life.

  • Alma and Alan Leinen Posted November 20, 2021 4:02 pm

    Our condolences to you and your family.

    • Kelly Fowler Posted November 20, 2021 8:32 pm

      Thank you so much Alma. Blessings, -Kelly (I will give my mom your condolences.)

  • David Dennison Posted November 21, 2021 10:14 pm

    It is hard to believe he is gone. i am glad i was able to visit with him one last time. He truly was my best friend and I will cherish his memory the rest of my days. Someday i will I will once again hear “I stopped at a road house in Texas, A little place called hamburger Dan’s” and he will say ‘Dave where did you come from?”
    may the Good Lord bless and keep all those who loved him.

    • Kelly F Fowler Posted November 27, 2021 2:15 pm

      Dave, thank you so much for your kind words for our Dad. I know he thought the world of you and was over the moon happy when you stopped for a visit. You should have seen how excited he was about that guitar with us girls on it…he loved it! It was such a thoughtful gift. We will all miss him here on earth but since this is not the end we look forward to that blessed assurance of heaven through the love and sacrifice of Jesus who paid the price for us all to be together again.

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