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John L. "Jack" Fitzgerald

March 20, 1937 — May 30, 2024

Wrentham

John L. "Jack" Fitzgerald

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John “Jack” Fitzgerald, age 87, passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Maples Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Wrentham, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family. Born in High Point, North Carolina on March 20, 1937, he was the son of Carol Fitzgerald and Dorothy (Norton) Simms. John lived briefly in High Point, but by age two, his mom moved back to St. Albans in Queens, New York with him. He lived a great life with his mom working many jobs to support them. He grew up with his grandparents and his uncles, Stan and Ken Norton. While growing up, he found his passion for playing basketball, his love of cars, and his love of his country. 

After his graduation from high school in St. Albans, John proudly enlisted in the United States Army on November 14, 1955. John completed his basic training as part of the infantry but, because of his skill with electronics and numbers, he was moved into a missile battalion. He was deployed to serve in the mountains of Northern Italy in one of the Army's first mobile battlefield battalion units where he was in charge of doppler guidance. During his service he was moved to the quartermasters, where he took supplies to ski troops between Italy and Germany, before being moved to Verona, Italy with the 543rd missile battalion. At this time America was in an arms race with the Soviet Union, in the Cold War era, and John and his comrades’ actions in the battalion units helped to strengthen the American front, with their mobility making it difficult for the Soviets to track. John was honorably discharged as a Sergeant on May 31 of 1962.

John returned home to New York and moved into his mother’s home in Brooklyn. His mother had remarried Ralph Simms while he was away. Ralph was a New York City entrepreneur and he offered John a position with his company, Premium Offset Plate in Lower Manhattan. Each afternoon John would stop at a local deli for lunch, and he became great friends with Armando Lottero, who made his favorite sandwich every day. This friendship would change his life. Armando set up John with a “great girl that lived in his building.” This girl was Domenica Scarfi, with whom he instantly fell in love. They married and moved to Brooklyn for a while and then moved into the projects in Staten Island. John continued to learn the business from Ralph while commuting by ferry every day into the city. In 1969, John and his family made the “big move” to Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, following Domenica’s brother John and wife Marilyn. Upon Ralph's retirement, John purchased the printing company from him and continued to grow the business. John closed up shop 35 years later, but he wasn’t ready for retirement. He went to work for his son Mark’s printing company, the Premium Color Group, working as a graphic designer for another six years.

In 1995, John and Domenica moved to Naples, Florida. They loved the warm weather, no snow, and spending winters with their brothers and sisters-in-law. 

The most important things in John's life were his wife Domenica, his children, grandchildren, and his country. His brother-in-law John described him as “one of the most loyal people he ever met.” 

In his free time, he loved to sit in his backyard with a cold beer (he called it his Vitamin B), talk about his time in the military, or talk about his love of cars, especially Oldsmobiles. 

In 2020, John broke his hip and needed help. He moved up to Walpole, Massachusetts where he lived with his daughter and family until he healed. He was then able to move to a garden apartment in Foxborough where he made new friends but missed his warm winters in Florida. Eventually, John moved into the Maples in Wrentham, Massachusetts, in order to receive some more support, as his hip never fully healed. While there, he made great friends and was always an advocate for those that needed anything. One special friend was Ginny Marino. They became great friends, with so much in common. She was a great help and comfort to him and his family. We were all lucky to have found her. 

John will be remembered as a devoted family man, a proud patriot, a loyal friend, and true Irishman. 

Beloved Husband of the late Domenica (Scarfi) Fitzgerald

Loving Father of Mark Fitzgerald, and his wife Diana, of East Hanover, New Jersey, and Jacqueline Groden, and her husband Luke, of Walpole, and 

Cherished Grandfather and Pa of Phillip Groden, and his fiancée Kyle Remy, of New York City, New York, Haley Groden of Walpole, Danielle Fitzgerald of East Hanover, New Jersey, Krista Fitzgerald of East Hanover, New Jersey, and Lindsey Fitzgerald of East Hanover, New Jersey

Brother-in-law of Marilyn Scarfi of Westwood, New Jersey, and Phylis Scarfi of Monteville, New Jersey

Also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends

A memorial celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John's name may be made to Walpole Veterans Service Committee at 60 South Street Walpole, MA 02081.

Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.

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