Alice Barbara Fitzgerald
January 19, 1942 – January 28, 2021
Alice Barbara (O’Donnell) Fitzgerald, 79, of Renton, Washington was surrounded by her children when she peacefully and gracefully passed on January 28, 2021. Born on January 19, 1942, in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She is preceded in death by her husband of 23 years, John Joseph Fitzgerald (1987), her eldest son, John Leo Fitzgerald (2013) and O’Donnell siblings: Leo, Joseph, Gertrude, George, Dennis, and Frances. She is survived by five children, Eileen Fitzgerald, Brian Fitzgerald, Nora (Donald) MacKenzie, Kevin Fitzgerald and Karen (Wayne) Ledbetter. Surviving siblings Marie Callahan, Ethel Tetrault, Phillip O’Donnell and Theresa Kaliner.
Alice was the daughter of Leo and Gertrude O’Donnell and the 9th of 11 children. Alice and her siblings grew up behind the family florist (Gertrude’s Florist) on Jamaica Avenue in New York. Alice graduated from Dominican Commercial Catholic High School in January of 1960. Soon after graduating, Alice began working at Scandinavian Airlines where she met her future husband, John J. Fitzgerald. Alice and John enjoyed being the parents of 6 children, Eileen, John, Brian, Nora, Kevin and Karen.
In the mid-1970’s, the family moved across the country from New York and settled in Renton, Washington where Alice was a very busy stay at home mom. She spent many hours chauffeuring around her kids and many neighborhood kids to soccer, piano lessons, football, cheerleading, church classes, dance lessons, karate, matinee movies, softball, picnics and swim lessons. Her days were filled with child-centered activities and sit-down dinners with the family.
In the 1980’s Alice returned to working outside of the home with The Renton School District as an administrative assistant. For years Alice was the lead substitute coordinator for the district. Lifelong friendships were established and many district employees knew Alice for her friendly personality and ability to magically juggle substitutes. In the mid 1990’s Alice transferred to the Maintenance Department where she thoroughly enjoyed the work crew and laughter that filled her days. Alice retired in 2007 and committed her free time to being a full-time grandma.
In the early 1990’s Alice welcomed the first of what would be 8 grandchildren: Matthew, Brandon, Zachary, Peyton, Talia, Drew, Leo and Adelaide. She became known as “Grandma Alice” and her heart was overjoyed with every new addition to the family. She was truly a hands-on and loving grandma who spent most of her retired days with her grandchildren. Grandma Alice could often be found playing at the park, treating grandkids to ice-cream, cheering at a sporting event, attending open swim, reading from her Dr. Suess book collection or just hanging out telling funny stories about her childhood.
Although miles away from New York, Alice’s heart always remained close to friends and family on the East coast. She knew that they were always a phone call or a handwritten letter away.
Alice was a dedicated parishioner at St. Stephen’s The Martyr Catholic Church in Renton for over 50 years. Her close friends from St. Stephen's were always there to share in prayer, give support or enjoy laughter.
Alice lived her life with joy, courage, strength, grace, love and faith. She touched many hearts with her smile, love of life and warm hugs. She will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved her.
To virtually attend funeral Mass for Alice on February18th, 2021 , please click on the link below. Tribute slide show and prelude will begin at 10:50am with Mass to begin at 11am.
Alice Barbara Fitzgerald
Robin Swanson Knipe
February 21, 2021
I was fortunate to know Alice (Mrs. Fitzgerald for most of my life) through her amazing daughter Nora. I remember every time I walked into her busy dining room being greeted with her warm and welcoming smile. She always had a loving word and lots of wonderful advice for me. I will always be in awe of her kindness and gentleness. Alice raised her children to be strong, loving and kind. She left this world a better place and I am honored to be among the people her life touched.
February 17, 2021
Alice was gracious and loving person and a great friend when you needed one and always good for a talk or laugh, but most of all a great mother. Always in our hearts. God bless you Alice.
With all are love , Rita and Mike
February 17, 2021
Aunt Alice was such a wonderful, caring and funny woman! She was so gracious and lovingly welcomed everyone into her home. I will miss her stories of international bowling tournaments, dating a "slightly" older man, flying standby with a family of 8 and the busy lives of a big family. I will always cherish witnessing her loving teasing of my own dad - he was never able to shed the role of pesky younger brother in law and they both clearly enjoyed those roles.
February 16, 2021
Aunt Alice was a true ODONNELL. As a true ODonnell she could talk to you for hours but never bore you, she could make you laugh until you cry and she could made you feel like you were so special and so loved by her. Aunt Alice was so full of life and I will always treasure her trips to NY. I loved sitting for hours at my parent's house and listening to my mom and Aunt Alice share memories and stories of their youth and family. They would talk for hours and then I would find out that they were up all night talking as well! Heaven definitely gained an angel! My love and prayers go out to you all. My heart breaks for you all and her grandchildren that she loved so very much. ❤
February 16, 2021
As your immediate family was in NY and our in MT, we shared family holidays together, and each member of our family cherish these get-togethers as some of our most wonderful memories of our family holidays. We are thankful to have met some of your siblings over the years, and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the O’Donnells.
Darryl and I have very fond memories of the great St. Paddy’s Day celebrations we experienced at your church, house, and at McCormick’s in Seattle, where John organized sing-alongs, and we were indoctrinated to our present custom of having corn beef and cabbage on that day!
Alice, my best friend, over the years you taught me what that really was and truly means, since we first met as neighbors back in the early 70s. As close neighbors, we raised our kids together, sharing their “ups and downs”, while they played together and became friends. There was never another family that we were as close to as yours, and we thank you for that. I miss our Saturday phone calls and the monthly lunches (before COVID), and we will miss your ever present positive demeanor, and quick wit.
February 16, 2021
i’ve never heard Alice complain about anything! I loved our phone chats. She was a wonderful sister-in-law and mostly a friend! She cherished her family! one of my favorite things was speaking honestly about them.
February 15, 2021
What a pleasure and an honor it was to have Alice Fitzgerald in my life. She was such an amazing and strong woman that I have always looked up to. Alice was like my second mother in so many ways. She took my brother and I to many soccer games, fed us, cared for us and loved us like we were her own. I have so many fond memories at the Fitzgerald’s home. We were always welcome to come over at anytime and Alice was happy to have us. Her gracious nature poured out to everyone in our neighborhood. Alice was the most selfless person I have ever met, always putting her family’s needs before hers. What a great loss it is not to have her in this world, but I know she will always be an angel looking out for everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. May you Rest In Peace Alice and know that you were loved and cherished by so so many, especially me! With all my love, Tia ( Nenezich) Dyer
Tina and John Ledbetter
February 13, 2021
Watching Alice with her family was a joy. Family meant everything to her. She also welcomed extended family. I have known Alice since her days working in the AD building of the Renton School District. I did not anticipate that she would become part of our family and us of her family. She will be missed. We will miss visiting with her while watching our grandchildren in whatever activity in which they participated.
Megan Lazarte (Connolly)
February 13, 2021
Heaven has gained a new angel. Aunt Alice was a special soul and always so caring and giving. Love spending time when we could on trips to Seattle and her trips to NY. We kept in touch through email and she loved to tell all about what was going on with her family.
To my cousins and families- I am so sorry for your loss. I know she loved you all so much and she was lucky to have each one of you taking care of her. She fought a good fight and I hope she is resting peacefully. In my prayers and thoughts.
February 12, 2021
Aunt Alice was my Godmother. Although she moved her family to Washington state when I was young I was fortunate enough to visit a few times through out the years, including being able to bring my daughters to Seattle to visit the Fitzgerald clan. A fond memory is when Aunt Alice and Aunt Marie came to Phoenix to visit me and Margaret and Sara. Although our in person visits were infrequent we did talk on the phone quite regularly. She always had a positive attitude and shared a loving story about one of my cousins or her grandchildren. I will miss her dearly but will always cherish how loving and giving she was and her deep faith and belief that things will be alright.
February 12, 2021
I first met Alice when she and her family came in from Seattle for our wedding day in November of '69. Cathy had talked about her so much as her childhood friend and the great times they had together. In that brief initial meeting, I realized what a wonderful, compassionate loving person she was. She was so natural and I knew we would see her again soon.
She and Cathy would talk on the phone for hours and my highlight was she would let me say "hi" to Alice! They were known as the "chatties"! Later she would fly to Washington with the kids and stay a day or two and Cathy would drive up to her Family reunions in L.I. Soon we started traveling out to Seattle and surroundings and spent a couple of days with Alice and Family. John Sr. had died by then but John Jr. and I hit it off sharing our mutual military experiences and our hot and cold relationship with the Veteran Administration.
Throughout all of this time , I came to appreciate Alice's sense of humor, her love of family and compassion for everyone she met. In the end, Alice showed her strong will and trust in her God and her passionate love for her Grandchildren. She didn't want to leave them and stayed as long as she could but was blessed with a call from above. Thank you God for taking this good and faithful servant home for eternal rest till we all meet her again!
Jim and Peg Connolly
February 12, 2021
We have so many fond memories of Alice over the years. She always had a great story to tell, many from growing up in Jamaica and always some about her children and grandchildren. We shared smiles and laughs as well as tears and will miss her terribly. Our hearts go out to her wonderful family who were there for her always but especially during the last several years of her life's journey. Heaven just welcomed a new angel. Alice was truly one of the strongest, bravest people we have known. Her losses and struggles made her more courageous and more loving - a feat we can all admire. Her faith was remarkable and remained unchallenged to the end. We will miss you and always chuckle, Alice, thinking of your black/green suitcase.
February 9, 2021
Alice was one of my closest friends who brought so much joy to my life. She was always true to her deepest convictions of loyalty, kindness, generosity and compassion as she lived her daily life. Alice loved God and was committed to doing His work. I can still hear Alice's laughter and see her smile whenever we talked about our families. Her love for her children and grandchildren never wavered and she rejoiced in their accomplishments no matter how big or small. Alice was always there to lend a hand to whomever needed help, no matter the circumstances. Our friendship was a true gift to me and I will always treasure our time together. Rest in peace, Alice! I look forward to the day when we meet again in Heaven!
February 7, 2021
"A true Friend is the greatest of all blessings"! I was blessed with my best friend, Alice, over 70 years ago! We experienced some of the closest relationships throughout the seven decades by supporting each other and sharing our strong ties. All our early years together were filled with fun, laughter and happy times. It was so easy to get along with Alice with her pleasant personality and good sense of humor. She was compassionate, caring, giving, and genuinely sincere in all she said and did. Once in a lifetime, you find a true best friend and soul mate like Alice and we both recognized it from the start. It was like family..
The rest of the stories were filled with fun and friendship all around. The very sad time was hearing John, Sr. had cancer and passed away in 1987! He was a great big, jolly Irishman and so much fun and perfect for Alice! It was such a loss but Alice stayed strong and followed her faith and cared and raised the 6 children by herself. It is so obvious how she passed down her compassion and love for others when you meet each of her lovely children.
I was shocked when I heard 4 years ago of Alice’s cancer diagnosis and it was so serious! She was such a trooper and said she was going to fight this and did so at every possible turn. We shared so much in our phone calls remembering all the past and praying together hoping each treatment would be the end! She was the bravest, positive thinking person I know. She didn’t want her children to worry about her and they were the best caretakers you can imagine. They helped me to face time her in her last weeks and we would say the Hail Mary together like we did as little girls. I remember one day she said, “I just wish I could live to be 80”, but we both knew that was not going to happen. She suffered so much these last two months and yet she gave us all a model to accept God’s Time and grace to bring her Home! God bless my sweet “Forever Friend” and bless her Family till we all meet again!
February 6, 2021
Rest in Peace my sweet friend. We all lost an earthly angel when you left this world to be in God's arms. I will always be so grateful to have known you. It's been many years since we had last seen each other, but I can still hear your wonderful laugh and see your smiling eyes. Your children were truly blessed to have you as their mom - you devotion to them was so inspiring. Thank you for being such a good role model for all of us as you navigated this thing called life with such grace, patience, kindness and compassion. You will be truly missed. My heart breaks for your family's loss.
Your friend, Sandy Haydock
February 5, 2021
As your favorite sister(lol), I will miss our weekly talks by phone. Towards the last six months, I would put on a pot of coffee whenever I called, cause I knew we would be awhile. Many memories were made in those conversations from growing up in Jamaica, to talking about our kids....especially our grandkids. I especially enjoyed talking about God and praying with you. I am truly thankful that God put you in my life. May He welcome you with open arms into heaven. Love ya, Theresa
Fr Bryan Dolejsi
February 5, 2021
May she Rest In Peace. On behalf of the Dolejsi family know of our deepest prayers and condolences for the family. She was one of the most consistently prayerful, supportive, and comforting people I have met in my years in the church. I will offer a mass for her. God Bless
February 5, 2021
You meet many people throughout a lifetime. But, there are those rare few who are, in so many ways, like an angel on earth. Alice was one of those earthly angels. She was a friend to all, with a heart of gold, and had a zest for living and sharing stories about the family she loved. My life was enriched by her friendship and for that I will be forever grateful. Alice was a good and faithful servant. May she rest in peace.
February 4, 2021
Friend, Mother, Grandmother, Strong, Compassionate, Fierce, Loyal and loving are but a few words that come to mind when I think of Alice. I was lucky to have Alice as a friend. She and I spent many hours in the maintenance office, laughing, crying and praying. She taught me patience and to see things from the perspective of the underdog. She helped others get and keep a job. She worked tirelessly for fairness and objectivity. She always saw the best in others. A friend like Alice comes along once or twice in a lifetime, and I was lucky to have Alice as my friend. I will miss you dear friend. May God comfort your family at this time. Sweet Memories.
Dorothy & Frank Silbernagel
February 4, 2021
So sorry for your loss, all her beautiful children & grandchildren’! We so enjoyed Alice being a neighborhood & church friend. When we’d see each other, we’d bring each other up to date on our families. Her smile & easygoing laugh were so special! She was so proud of her children & grandchildren! Blessings to all of you & we’re looking forward to meeting Alice again some day! 💜
February 4, 2021
My mom Darlene Naes and I are deeply saddened by the news of her passing. Even though we didn't know her very long, we always could see how much she loved life and loved her family. She was a person who always gave so much of herself. We really enjoyed the limited time we shared with her and our lives were better for it. Our hearts go out to the family and we will keep you in our prayers.
February 2, 2021
Alice my friend, I am going to miss you and our time together. We have been friends a long time but the past 4-5 years we have gotten close. Bringing you Eucharist and doing church the past few years has been a highlight each week. But when Covid hit that had to stop, thankfully we had texts and phone calls. I am going to miss that once a week visit when we would do church then go out and have lunch, then hit the Dollar Tree for shopping. Sometimes we just sat in the living room (you in your recliner) with your little table by your side for tissues, phone, meds, pen and paper and talked. My visits were usually an hour but many times I would still be there 2-3 hours later. Talked about our kids, grandkids, fixing the problems in the world, riminess about our past, kids at school, church, sports and many other topics . Time would just go so quickly. You have been so inspiring in watching you fighting the cancer and strong in trusting your Faith. I am grateful that I have been able to pop in for a few minutes the past months and say hello, give you a hug, and tell you I love you and to keep being strong. I am so proud of your family for being so dedicated to you all the time and taking such good care of you. Nora would keep me up to date as to what was going on almost on a daily basis, I appreciated that. I am going to miss you but I know that you are with your family in Heaven and pain free. That alone gives me comfort. Hopefully one day we will be able to continue our chats in a Heavenly place together again. I love you.
Fay Varden aka(Father Fay)