Harold Dean Fitzgerald, 92, of Clinton, passed away at 2:04 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 1, 2014) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.
Remembrance ceremony by Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton, with funeral services following with the Rev. Stephen Killion officiating. Interment will follow in Mausoleum Park Cemetery, Clinton, with military honors. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be directed to the Clinton YMCA; DeWitt County Friendship Center; or the Young at Heart at First Christian Church.
Harold Dean Fitzgerald was born on Oct. 15, 1921, in Clinton, the son of Ira and Hulda Ebershol Fitzgerald. He married Mae Louise Brewer in February 1945, in Peoria.
Survivors include his wife, Mae Louise Fitzgerald, Clinton; brother-in-law, William Brewer Jr. and his wife, Karen, Stephens City, Va.; sister-in-law, Ann Fitzgerald, Matteson; four nephews, Dwight (LouAnn) Fitzgerald, Taylorville, N.C.; Ricky (Miranda) Fitzgerald, Orlando, Fla.; Ronnie F. Fitzgerald Jr., Steger; and Randy Fitzgerald, Matteson. Also surviving is his cat, Cassie, which he loved very much.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Major Rodney H. Fitzgerald on April 30, 1980; brother, Ronald Fitzgerald on July 8, 2008; half brother, Melvin Fitzgerald; and nephew, Larry Fitzgerald.
Harold was a member of the United Methodist Church, Clinton. He was a boatswain’s mate 1st Class in the US Navy in World War II from Oct. 18, 1939 to Oct. 18, 1945. Harold flew along the California coast in blimps for the US Navy during the war. He was a Pearl Harbor survivor, he had served on the USS Indianapolis and his last ship he served on was USS Windham Bay CVE–92.
He established Fitzgerald Jeweler’s April 1, 1957, where he was the owner and operator, in Clinton. He later opened a store in 1978 at Hickory Point Mall. Harold owned the Meadow Lakes subdivision on Route 10. He was a member of the Elks, VFW, American Legion and Kiwanis Club. He served on the board of the Illinois Retail Jeweler’s Association for many years and also was past president in 1972 and 1973. He was chosen for “Operation Tiger” a series of cruises conducted by the US Navy to demonstrate its capabilities to the public.