September 12, 1941 – January 24, 2021
Thomas Richard Fitzpatrick, age 79, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died Sunday, January 24 following a lengthy illness. Tom was born in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Redford High School in 1959. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating from the College of Architecture and Design in 1965. Tom started his career as a structural engineer working for the prestigious Robert Darvas Associates, a building consulting firm with projects all over the United States. After thirty years with the company, Tom decided to branch out and start his own company, Fitzpatrick Structural Engineering. While Tom worked on many building projects, his true passion was for the restoration of historical buildings and landmarks. Some of the notable projects Tom was involved with were the Ulysses S. Grant home in St. Louis, MO, Harry Truman’s home in Independence, MO, and Perry’s Victory, the Lake Erie monument honoring Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of the Lake Erie during the War of 1812. In his beloved state of Michigan, Tom worked on the restoration of the South Manitou Lighthouse, the St. Joseph Lighthouse, and Dymaxion House, located in The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom received the Michigan Historic Preservation Network Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He belonged to several professional societies such as the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to name a few. Tom was a community-minded, family man who enjoyed coaching his daughters’ softball teams and was very active at Calvary Presbyterian Church for many years, serving as a deacon and elder, and member of the choir. In fact, music was one of the loves of his life; he had a wonderful singing voice and played the guitar. Tom and Patti loved attending musical performances together, particularly traditional Irish music. Other loves were for sailing, animals (cats AND dogs) and of course, the University of Michigan. Tom was known for his sense of humor and easy grin. He was proud of his Irish heritage and was delighted to visit Ireland in 2004. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Olive Fitzpatrick. He is survived by his sisters, Terri (John) Dickey of Allen Park, MI and Jo Ann Fitzpatrick of Lakewood, CO; his wife, Patti Fitzpatrick; his daughters, Kelly (Mike) Prudhomme of Pagosa Springs, CO and Laura Fitzpatrick of Novato, CA; his stepson, Karl Fischer of Saline, MI; his grandchildren, Kristen Prudhomme, Matt Prudhomme, Grayson Spangenberg, McKaia Spangenberg, Ryan Fischer, Owen Fischer, Marisa Fischer; and nephew, Max Lebsack. A Celebration of Life is planned for the spring; in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, the Huron Valley Humane Society, or the American Lung Association.
A Celebration of Life is planned for the spring of 2021. Please click “Receive Notifications” above for future updates.
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January 29, 2021
Some of my earliest memories of my dad are when I would stand on his feet, grab his hands and he’d dance me around the house. I remember him singing me to sleep at night: Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry, go to sleep my little baby. He was there for every milestone in my life. He was my biggest cheerleader! I’ll miss playing the guitar and singing with him, playing Shanghai, Euchre, and Cribbage, and I’ll miss the Crumb comics he’d often email me. Most of all I’ll miss hearing him tell me how much he loves me and how proud he was of me. I know time will heal. I will hold on to the precious memories of the life we shared and will always remember his beautiful smile. He truly was the world’s greatest dad!