Thomas Sidney Fitzgerald, Sr.
Mr. Thomas Sidney Fitzgerald, Sr., 85, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., passed away on Monday, August 23, 2021 at his home, surrounded by his loving family while under the care of Hospice of the Panhandle.
Born December 15, 1935 in Emmitsburg, Md., he was the son of Naomi Elizabeth Powell (deceased 1977), and Thomas Allen Fitzgerald (deceased 1940).
In 1940, after Thomas’ father passed away, he and his brothers spent several years in an orphanage, Tom stayed until 1949. He later worked at a dairy farm in Walkersville, Md., owned by his foster family, Russell Walker, until 1954. After graduating from high school, Tom qualified for Air Force Navigator training and enlisted in the Air Force as an Aviation Cadet in 1955. He graduated from Navigator school in 1957 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. He flew for both the Air Force and Maryland Air National Guard as a Tanker Navigator until 1964, attaining the rank of Captain. Tom was employed with IBM for 27 years, from 1961 to 1988 where he received five Service Awards (the national record was seven). After retiring from IBM, Tom was employed with Kodak for 12 years from 1988 to 2000, where he received 2 Service Awards.
Tom initially settled his family in Rockville, Md., in 1963 and stayed there for 12 years, then decided to move his family towards the Chesapeake Bay and lived in Deale, Md., for almost 30 years from 1975 to the mid 1990’s when he decided to buy 200 acres in the mountains of West Virginia; he later sold 115 acres. Tom built his West Virginia home in 2004 and built his son’s family home in 2006. During his 20 years in the mountains, he enjoyed the forest, harvesting trees, walking trails and his many loving golden retrievers Frazier, Frazier, Frazia and Bella. For his whole life, Tom could and would work on anything and everything: electronics, mechanics, plumbing, construction, forestry. You name it, he worked it.
Tom is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dolores Sicilia Fitzgerald; his daughter Allyn M. Patterson and husband Willard with their children Jordan and Taylor; his son Thomas S. Fitzgerald, Jr. and wife Abby with their children Austin, Ian and Tom III and wife Johanna and their son Evan; and Pete’s daughter April. Also left behind are many nieces, nephews and longtime friends. He is preceded in death by two sons, Steven M. Fitzgerald (1983) and Peter J. Fitzgerald (2016). He was also the youngest and last surviving of his five brothers Ed, Jerry, Mike, Joe and Richard.
A Celebration of Life will be set at a later date.
Memorial contributions in the honor of Tom S. Fitzgerald, Sr. can be made to Hospice of the Panhandle at https://www.hospiceotp.org/donate/ 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV 25430.
Arrangements are being handled by Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.helsleyjohnsonfh.com.