John E. FitzGibbons
John Edward Timotheus FitzGibbons, known as “Jack” to family and friends, of East 7th Street in Oswego, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on Tuesday, with loved ones by his side.
Jack lived a very rich and fulfilling life. He was born on May 6, 1924 in Oswego, and was the eldest of three children raised by George and Ellen FitzGibbons. His beloved sisters, Julie Sullivan and Mary Mimi Conway, both preceded him in death.
Jack graduated from St. Paul’s Academy and Oswego High School before enlisting in WWII. As a member of the armed forces serving in the field artillery, he helped to liberate Europe. Upon his return from war, Jack attended Manhattan College, graduating as a proud Jasper in 1951. After graduation, Jack returned to Oswego to work alongside his father at FitzGibbons Real Estate. In 1953, Jack found that “happiness lies right under your eyes, back in your own backyard” when he married fellow Oswegonian Joan Galvin. They shared 56 happy years of marriage prior to Joan’s death in 2009. Together, with Joan’s support and commitment to excellence, they raised and educated seven children who are their ardent admirers.
Jack loved and served Oswego in many ways. He was a two-term Mayor of Oswego from 1976-1980 and served as Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority for more than a decade. He was also a long-time proprietor of FitzGibbons Insurance and Real Estate, the family business, now managed by his son.
Jack was instrumental in establishing Oswego’s first public housing development, Hamilton Homes and aided in the city’s acquisition of the Naval Militia (McCrobie) Building. He secured The Nash, the living WWII museum ship that sits in the Harbor, as well as oversaw the restoration of Oswego City Hall. He also initiated planning for the Wright’s Landing Development.
He was also appointed a Charter Commission which successfully revised and modernized the Oswego City Charter, changing the term of Mayor from 2 to 4 years, strengthening the powers of the Mayor and creating a new Department of Personnel.
Jack served on many committees and boards including the County Solid Waste Board, Oswego County Board of Realtors, Central New York Girl Scouts, Catholic Charities, and the Oswego County, to name a few.
He held long-time memberships in the Oswego Elks, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, and was an honorary member of the Oswego Rotary.
Jack is survived by his seven children, Jean (Rick Sabatini), John (Tara Seaman), Joan (Chris Dain), Ellen (Joe McCloskey), Jerome (Jennifer Dehm), Mary (Kevin Stack), and Kathleen (Kevin Hunt). He is loved by thirteen grandchildren: Ben, Jean, George, Mary Margaret, Sean, Mary, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Margaret, James, Thomas, Padraig, and Siobhan; and one great grandchild, Lillian. His extended family includes his in-laws, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Jack Fitzgibbons is revered and loved not only for public service, but being a family man in a sense that few can claim. He had both the heart of a lion, and the soul of a lamb. He was a faithful husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. The lilt of Irish laughter, a favorite tune, and a poet’s wit were always readily shared. He was a politician and civil servant who served with integrity and character. His legacy will long out-live him. His adoring family carries forward his name and memory.
A Celebration of Life and Mass will take place at 10:30am Saturday, February 11th, at St. Paul’s Church in Oswego. Burial will be in St. Paul’s Cemetery. Calling hours will be held Friday, February 10th, from 4 to 8pm at the Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home, 112 East Second Street in Oswego.
The family requests donations to be sent to the St. Luke John Foster Burden Foundation, 299 E. River Road, Oswego NY 13126.
Date of Death: February 7, 2017
Published in the in the Syracuse Post Standard from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2017
FitzGibbons, John Edward Timotheus [MC1951 RIP]
Guestbook: None cited
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Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) added this request to his prayer circle.
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