Robert M. Fitzgerald, 81, of Rehoboth Beach, died Sunday March 4, 2018, at Christiana Hospital two weeks after aortic valve replacement surgery. Born Oct. 7, 1936, in Warren, Pa., he was the son of Raymond Fitzgerald and Evelyn Hultman Fitzgerald.
After graduating from Warren High School, he earned a bachelor of science degree from what is now Carnegie Mellon University and a master of science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, both in mathematics. Bob was a retired data processing executive who was elected a commissioner on the Dewey Beach Town Council. A lover of classical music and theater, he was a board member of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Clear Space Theatre Company. A lifelong student, he was recently appointed to the board of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Lewes.
During his 45-year professional career, Bob worked in executive positions at companies including Computer Sciences Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton and Jackson & Tull. At Computer Sciences, he played a key role in a successful bid for a multimillion-dollar contract with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., prevailing over IBM Corporation. Bob was a lifelong Catholic and a member of St. Jude The Apostle Catholic Church in Lewes. Earlier, he was a Eucharistic minister at St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, and served on the parish council at St. Pius X in Bowie, Md., where he had lived for more than 30 years and raised his family. He had a passion for local, state and national politics. As a Dewey Beach commissioner, he worked to limit the development of highrise condominiums and hotels in the resort community. In 2012, he traveled to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., with his wife, Pamela, who was an alternate delegate. Bob celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with her in October 2017.
In addition to his wife, Pamela Duffy Fitzgerald, he is survived by two brothers: David Fitzgerald (Carol) of Marquette, Mich., and James Fitzgerald (Ingrid) of Youngsville, Pa. His other brother, Thomas, died in 1993. Bob was married to Mary Grace Brennan Fitzgerald, his first wife and the mother of his four children, from 1959 until her death in 2001. Other surviving family members include his daughters, Megan Ward (Dana) of Havertown, Pa., and Maura Ann Lienesch (John) of Gambrills, Md.; and his sons, Dennis Fitzgerald (Cathy) of Yonkers, N.Y., and Kevin Fitzgerald (Mary Beth) of Owings, Md. His grandchildren are Cullen Grant McCormick (Mike) of Newtown Square, Pa., Miles Grant of Germantown, Pa., Grace Fitzgerald and Ann Fitzgerald of Yonkers, Declan Robert Fitzgerald, Mairead Fitzgerald and Lochlan Fitzgerald of Owings and Jack Lienesch of Gambrills. He is also survived by a great-granddaughter, Mary Grace McCormick of Newtown Square. Bob is also survived by two stepdaughters, Julia Walpole Parkhurst (Jay) of Charlotte, N.C., and Laura Walpole of Houston, Texas; a stepson, Ken Walpole of Atlanta, Ga.; and two stepgrandchildren, Griffin Parkhurst and Emerson Parkhurst, both of Charlotte.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, March 9, at 10 a.m., at St. Jude the Apostle Church: 152 Tulip Drive; Lewes. A visitation will be held the night prior, Thursday,March 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway; Lewes. Interment will follow at the Mass at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 32112 Vines Creek Road, Dagsboro.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Bob's memory to Judicial Watch: 425 Third St. SW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20024, or the American Heart Association: 200 Continental Drive, Suite 101, Newark, DE 19713.
Please visit Bob's Life Memorial Webpage and sign his online guestbook at www.parsellfuneralhomes.com.