FRANKLIN - Frederic J FitzSimmons of Franklin, Vermont passed away peacefully on May 2, 2016 with his family at his side.
He was born in Dorchester, MA on September 6, 1927. He was the son of Julia Coveney FitzSimmons and Edward Joseph FitzSimmons. He is predeceased by his sisters Marie McFadden, and Joan Stinson, his brothers Richard Seton FitzSimmons, Paul FitzSimmons, and his granddaughter Julia Eldora FitzSimmons.
He is survived by his loving wife, Audrey Vivian FitzSimmons of Franklin VT, his sister Celestine Gookin of Norton, Massachusetts and his nine children. Susan and Dan Burns of Enosburg, VT Carol and Richard Fontina of Mars Hill, Maine, Michael and Jane FitzSimmons of Brockton, MA, Ann and William Tucker of Middleboro, MA, James FitzSimmons and his partner Lisa Wong of West Bridgewater, MA, Joseph and Jennifer FitzSimmons of Swanton, VT, Julia FitzSimmons Chartier of Northampton, MA, Janet and Paul Wells of Enosburg, VT, and Mary FitzSimmons and her friend Rick Bence of Swansea, MA. He was also was the proud Grandpa of 37 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins that he has faithfully kept in touch with.
He entered the Marines at the age of 16 and served his country in World War Two in the occupation of Japan in Chi Chi Jima. He was in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the USMC. He was honorably discharged on August 21, 1946.
Daddy married Audrey Baker on July 7, 1950 and they have enjoyed 65 years together. They spent their early years raising their family in Brockton, MA and retired to Franklin, VT in 1990.
He was a member of Local #276 Plumbers and Pipe Fitters of Brockton, MA where he was a Steamfitter for his working years. He was also a member of Local #51 of Providence RI.
Daddy’s character can only be described as strong, brutally honest, lover of family and his country, polite at all times but, at the same time able to be forthright and stand up for any injustice. He loved his country and proudly flew the US flag outside his home on the flag pole he made himself out of polished steel.
Family always came first to Daddy. He and Mama hosted Sunday dinner for anyone who could come, through all the years of their married life. That’s a lot of roast beef dinners! It was always the safest and happiest gathering place for all of us.
Daddy was an avid reader, lover of the Boston Herald newspaper, politics, the New England Patriots and FOX news. He enjoyed gardening, and planting trees. The trees surrounding his Franklin home were planted as saplings in the early 1990’s and he had the privilege of seeing them mature to lofty heights. He was a staunch Republican and a member of the NRA and the Heritage Foundation.
He and his wife enjoyed many trips with his fellow war Veterans travelling to Gettysburg, PA., and Washington DC, spending time together and honoring their fallen comrades. This was very important to him.
For the last weeks of his life as he adjusted to the reality of his diagnosis and the time he had left, he demonstrated tremendous humility, strength and grace. Letting his nine children and extended family care for him. He was never without a smile for each of us. He continued to be his witty and playful self, surprising us with his keen sense of all that was going on. So much so that we were able to laugh and cry with him. We even enjoyed writing down all the funny things he said which we will fondly refer to as “Fredisms!”
Most importantly, we would like to share that after Daddy received a visit from a priest at UVM Medical Center, he was able to say that he was in a “state of grace with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and that it felt like Christmas”. He was at peace with God, his face visibly displaying serenity and happiness.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM the East Franklin Union Church, 4610 Lake Road/Vermont Route 120, East Franklin with Rev. Jason McConnell officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow in the East Franklin Cemetery.
Visiting hours will be held Friday from 5-8 PM at the Spears Funeral Home, 96 Dickinson Ave., Enosburg Falls.
For those who wish, contributions in Fred’s memory may be made to the Franklin County Home Health Agency – Hospice Program, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478.
God looked around his garden And found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, And saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you And lifted you to rest. God’s garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering, He knew that you were in pain. He knew that you would never Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough And the hills were hard to climb. So He closed your weary eyelids And whispered “Peace be thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you But you did not go alone… For part of us went with you The day God called you home.