OBIT: Robert F. Fitzpatrick, 88, Veteran, Raised in Watertown

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Robert F. Fitzpatrick

Robert F. Fitzpatrick of Quincy and Stuart, FL passed away on February 4th surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness.

Bob was born in 1933 in Waltham to Lawrence B. and Anna L. (Hoey) Fitzpatrick of Watertown.

Bob graduated from Boston Technical High School, then enlisted in the United States Navy where he proudly served his Country for four years as a radio operator. Bob later attended Quincy Junior College, Newbury Junior College and Northeastern University.

After his Navy service, Bob returned to Boston and worked at Salada Tea where he met the love of his life, Marjorie Donovan. Margie, however, did not make it easy for him–she refused to date a co-worker. Bob quit his job, returned to Salada Tea and asked her out again. On his second approach, Margie said, “Yes,” leading to nearly 50 years of wedded bliss.

Bob was employed by New England Telephone & Telegraph Company. He directed major equipment installation projects in Eastern Massachusetts, retiring with 40 years of service.

Bob’s children created the impetus for his involvement in two of his most significant contributions to the community: Quincy Youth Hockey and Quincy Youth Arena. He was part of a group that started QYH in the early 60’s. The Fitzpatricks became a hockey family and Quincy needed a hockey rink. Bob, again, was part of a group that reached a land deal with the City of Quincy and built Quincy Youth Arena. The home to Quincy Youth Hockey was born.

Bob also served on the Quincy Youth Commission, the Board of the Girls Home, and managed the Orioles to Farm League titles in Quincy Youth Baseball. Bob was an active member of the North Quincy Knights of Columbus, Council 2259, where he made many lifelong friendships (and won many cribbage tournaments). Bob served as the unofficial “Social Director” for his friends organizing trips, dinners, and shenanigans everywhere from Cape Cod to Bermuda. He was Herring Pond Horseshoe Champion 1975-77.

Bob often power walked the Sugar Bowl loop at Castle Island in South Boston, a daily ritual that contributed to his good health and longevity. By 2016, he was thought to have completed more laps around Castle Island than nearly everyone in New England. Bob later taught his grandchildren to walk Castle Island with the promise of an ice cream reward at Sullivan’s.

Bob’s love of the water was born of his Navy service. He and Margie loved to sail the seas to Bermuda, Aruba and beyond. Bob also had a deep and abiding love for Ireland and family there. He was an avid Boston sports fan and an original Boston Patriots season ticket holder.

Bob later met Juanita Briznow of Farmingdale, Maine, with whom he would spend the last several years of his life in Quincy, Florida and Maine. Juanita was a great friend and loving companion.

Bob was the beloved husband of the late Marjorie Fitzpatrick. He was the loving father of his son Robert Jr. and his wife Maribeth of Duxbury, his son James and his wife Patricia of West Palm Beach, FL, his daughter Carol and her husband Michael O’Reilly of Mansfield, his daughter Kathleen and her husband Paul Ciarfella of Groton, his son Richard and his wife Jeanne of Cohasset and his daughter Anne and her partner Chris Penland of Watertown. He was the proud “Grandpa” of Sophia, Michael, Meaghan, Molly, Bridget, Shamus, Lauren, Katherine, John, Paul, Erin, Matthew and great-grandfather to Henry. He was the loving brother of Florence McMahon of Arlington, the late Virginia Flaherty of Wilmington and the late Richard Fitzpatrick of Dixon, CA. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, as well as extended family in Ireland.

Funeral Mass was held on Tuesday February 15, in Sacred Heart Church, N. Quincy immediately followed by burial in MA National Cemetery, Bourne.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to The Quincy Youth Hockey Association, Inc., 60 Murphy Memorial Drive, Quincy, MA 02169.

May the road rise up to meet you. 

May the wind be always at your back. 

May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.                           

– Traditional Irish blessing

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