Edward James Fitzgerald, 92, passed away peacefully at his home on October 28, 2021, with his loving family by his side. He was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Edward “Ed” was born February 21, 1929 in Pittsburgh, son of Eliza-
beth M. and James S. Fitz-
Edward was a proud veteran of the United States Army. He was an MP in Korea, where he served in the 55th Military Police Company and received the WWII Victory Medal. The 55th was active in Korea from March 1947 to June 1949.
Ed learned to weld while working at J&L Steel in Pittsburgh. He later went to work at Mack Trucks after moving to the Allentown area and continued to work for Mack until his retirement in 1991. He started there as a welder, then studied sheet metal and became a sheet metal machinist and finally a machinist. . He worked at the old 5C assembly plant in Allentown and then at the Mack’s Macungie plant when that site opened. He was a proud member of UAW Local 677.
One of Ed’s biggest interests was Ham Radio. He studied Morse code and passed his test to obtain the highest possible FCC Amateur Radio Operator’s license, “Amateur Extra Class”. To pass this test, he had to accurately transmit / receive 20 words per minute in Morse code. As a ham operator, a “ham” as they are called, he enjoyed communicating with other “hams” around the world under his call sign, WB3JLC.
Another of his favorite hobbies was studying and collecting rocks, minerals and fossils. He was an enthusiastic “Rock-Hound”. He and his wife, Lois, have taken many enjoyable road trips in search of perfect mineral and fossil specimens.
Ed was an accomplished guitarist and his family will fondly remember the many enjoyable hours he spent listening to him play and sing. He played both acoustic and electric guitar. He also liked to listen to music, especially guitar. Some of his favorite artists were Eric Clapton and Leon Redbone. Years later, he really enjoyed listening to polka music and watching Pennsylvania Polka every week on TV.
Ed loved to fish in his youth, especially when his father came to visit him. They were heading to shore for surf fishing, or to a PA lake and fishing from his boat. Ed was also fond of raising chickens and had many breeds over the years including leghorns, silks, roosters and guinea fowl. His summer activities always included cutting fields on his unique and beloved vintage Cletrac tractor and John Deere mower.
Ed was a huge NASCAR fan, and you wouldn’t be able to get his attention if a race was on TV that day. His favorite driver was, of course, the late number 3 Dale Earnhardt.
Ed loved Ireland and all that is Irish, and in 1974 he finally realized his dream of traveling to visit the land of his ancestors with his wife, Lois by his side. His trip to Ireland was by far his most memorable vacation and the photos they brought back were breathtaking.
Ed was truly a self-made man. Besides the accomplishments and interests listed above, he was gifted in many other fields: construction, masonry, plumbing, electrical, roofing, siding, repair of small gasoline engines, auto and truck repair. He could fix anything by soldering it and could create anything just by looking at an example. He was artistic and had the most beautiful and distinctive handwriting. He had a great sense of humor and always knew how to tell a good joke. He would do anything for you and was always there to help if anyone needed it.
He will be sadly missed by his family and all who knew him. We are sure that as an amateur radio operator he would sign with his family and friends a “seven three”, which means a “loving farewell”.
Survivors: Beloved wife of 72, Lois G. (Klotz) Fitzgerald; son, Michael T. Fitzgerald, Walnutport; daughters, Colleen L., wife of Richard Roberts, Hamilton, NJ, Denise A., wife of Travis Hood, Bellingham, WA, Susan E. Hayes, Staunton, VA, and Maureen F., wife of Richard Bet, Walnutport; grandchildren, Dr. Gina M. Roberts, Ashley L. wife of Jeffrey Talbot, Bonnie G. Hood, Patrick F. Hayes, and wife Tracy, Sean D. Hayes, Kelly E. Eastley, Kathleen M., wife of John Dusenbury, Michael A. Bet, Joseph E. Bet, and his wife Shannon, and Jennifer L. Bet; great-grandchildren, Daniel, Delaney, Madeline, Braelynn and Abigail; sister, Mary Anne Durant of Magalia, CA; brothers, Thomas “Bud” Fitzgerald (predeceased) and Paul “Gerry” Fitzgerald (predeceased).
Service: A celebration of the service of life will be announced by the family at a later date. Arrangements are managed by Harding Funeral Home, Inc., 25-27 North 2nd St., Slatington. Contributions can be made to the Promedica Hospice Memorial Fund (Allentown, PA), 333 North Summit Street, PO Box 10086, Toledo, OH, 43699-0086.
Posted by Times News on November 3, 2021.