Joseph L Fitzgerald

November 15, 1964February 4, 2019

Joseph L. Fitzgerald, age 54, of Fall River, Ma., passed away unexpectedly, Monday, February 4, 2019.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, he was the son of the late John J. and Margaret (McEneny) Fitzgerald.

A graduate of Joseph Case High School, Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1986 (SMU/UMASS Dartmouth), worked for the Navy’s USW-DSS for over 30 years ultimately becoming a Chief Engineer of underwater warfare projects. His work took him to many places around the world including Hawaii, Japan, Italy and Australia.

An avid Boston sports fan, Joey enjoyed concerts, golf, hiking, and cycling. Survivors include: two sons, Sean Fitzgerald and his fiancé Kathryn Burgner of Waltham and Christopher Fitzgerald of Westminster Ma.; five siblings, Catherine Rioux and her husband Dave of Machias ME, Joan Fitzgerald and her husband Michael Phelps of Greenfield Ma, Stephen Fitzgerald and his wife Michelle of Swansea Ma, Thomas Fitzgerald of Somerset Ma and Michael Fitzgerald of Swansea Ma. Additionally, Joes girlfriend Julie Cannon of Austin Texas and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, 12:00 noon at Willaby’s Billards, 1199 GAR Hwy., Swansea. Relatives and friends are invited.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, February 16, 2019

Joseph L Fitzgerald

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Robin McGinn

February 14, 2019

You will always be in my memories and heart. You were a true friend to me . I will always remember the laughing that made us cry!!! I truly believe that you are in a beautiful place and hoping you are with all the others we have lost. Love you Joey. I will miss you.

Matthew Goode

February 11, 2019

Chris, I remember when your dad took us to the beach house for the weekend when we had the holiday NMH game. I remember him being a great conversationalist and an overall nice person.

Julie Cannon

February 10, 2019

It was incredibly easy to fall in love with Joe. His quick wit and sense of humor, his kindness, thoughtfulness, his gentle yet strong presence, his patience, his love of life and learning and new experiences, his open-mindedness, and his compassion and consideration for others all made being with him an absolute pleasure. And Joe was just plain fun! Joe challenged me to be a better person. I particularly admired his generosity. He displayed generosity in many forms--the way he helped others, the way he complemented and spoke of others, the way he donated to charities and causes, the way he thanked and tipped servers and musicians, and the way he gave wonderful huge bear hugs. Joe was truly beautiful. The most generous gift Joe gave me was his presence and peacefulness in each moment together. I feel honored and blessed to have known Joe for the short time that I did. I believe Joe's life experiences ultimately shaped him in such a good way. I am sure the many gifts that Joe gave me will continue to live in my heart, and likewise for all who knew him. This photo captures Joe in one of our many games of Jenga. Although he was competitive, he let me win every game, except for one, the last time we were together.

Bob Schmidt

February 10, 2019

Joe begrudgingly took this picture in Naples Italy December 2019. The trip was fantastic because he was there. He was the consummate professional and could be relied on to be level headed and unemotional no matter what the circumstances were, even if walking in the wrong part of town where tourists fear to go.

Joe will leave a gaping hole in everyone's life that had the fortune to know him as family, or as a friend or as the professional he was. Joes legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those the knew him. We will miss him but he will not be forgotten because the stories and memories of him will be retold by the generation that knew him. It will be a word or a memory that will trigger a story and we will know at that moment he is never more than an instant away from us. He will be missed but as the Irish saying goes "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Stephen Cyr

February 9, 2019

Am a friend of all the Fitzgerald's, and always hold the whole family in great esteem. Joe was a special guy, fun loving and honest! A good golfer and ready to poke at all who would question his ability! Lol. Joe was an awesome individual ! Love you ! RIP!

Brett Steadman

February 9, 2019

In work: Joe personified an engineer, he understood technology and the application of that technology. He understood the desired operational capability, he had ability to envision the right implementation to see that capability realized and the know-how, the technical juice to lead and validate the vision to the realization. Joe was the engineer's engineer.

In life: Joe was intellectually quizzical, opinionated, passionate, joyful, contemplative, metal head, quick witted, serious, loyal, stubborn, wicked funny, a man of his word, friend to many, and foe to few. He loved life and pursued it with unmatched beautiful intent.

To me: Joe was my friend, a real friend, one of the best I have ever had.

Mike carberry

February 8, 2019

Jim Medeiros

February 8, 2019

New game!

Stephen O'Grady

February 8, 2019

There are so many good stories to tell about Fitz. One great memory I have is a conversation we had on the ferry coming back from Block Island. The sun was setting and we were just enjoying the ride and solving the world's problems like two Irish guys do after a good day of drinking! This picture of Joe was from that ferry ride. RIP big man! You left us way to early.