Cover photo for Thomas Frank Fitzgerald's Obituary
Thomas Frank Fitzgerald Profile Photo
1948 Thomas 2021

Thomas Frank Fitzgerald

August 26, 1948 — July 8, 2021

On July 8, 2021, a bell rang, and an angel got his wings. Thomas Frank Fitzgerald, best known as Papa, passed away on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at Winchester Hospital. He was 72 years of age.

Born on August 26, 1948 in Holyoke, Thomas is the loving son of the late Thomas J. Fitzgerald and Marie (Carlin) Fitzgerald. Thomas is a kind and gentle son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Thomas attended Holy Rosary Grammar School, Holyoke Catholic High School and is a proud graduate of St. Anselm College. He was so proud of St. A's that two of his son's attended as well.

During High School, he worked with his cousin Mandy in Uncle Francis' drugstore and Thomas also worked at JO Young Ladder and sealed runways at Westover Air Force Base to raise money for college.

Thomas loved baseball and was happier than anyone when his son Ryan became an employee of the Red Sox. He enjoyed the perks of the job more than Ryan. One of his fondest and proudest moments was when several of the World Series trophies made a surprise appearance at his 60th birthday.

An avid fisherman since childhood, Thomas enjoyed nothing more than teaching his boys and spending time on the water with his brother and nephews casting.

Thomas was a dedicated employee of Lynn Ladder and Scaffolding for 45 years and he is one of the original "13". He loved that job almost as much as he loved our family. He worked with great mentors Bernie Kline and Frank Koughan and enjoyed every moment. He shared his amazing work ethic with all his successful sons.

After marrying his Pumpkin/Nene in 1973, they settled in Reading and built their home to raise the boys where he lived until passing into eternal life.

Papa always said work to live and not live to work. He loved the solitude of Hampton Beach. Having spent his childhood running on the North Beach with his little brother and sisters, he ensured the legacy continued. He and Nene would pack everyone into the station wagon and head to the cottage at least once every summer. Thomas also enjoyed visiting Nene's family; Captain Jack, Marilyn, Bobby, Tommy, Eddie, Jimmy and all their families, down in Hyannisport.

In order to maximize as much time with his family, he would even take them on road trips when traveling for work. They had the most amazing adventures while seeing the country that even educational trips were cool. A lover of all things history, he was our own personal tour guide everywhere we went. Only he, along with his co-hort Nene could make a 600-mile journey through stinky cow country fascinating.

Everyone has regrets throughout their lives and even Papa, who really did have a most fantastic, successful life, had one. This regret is so bad that he refused to ever discuss it. By being open about it here, we hope he finds absolution. In 1969, he was too lazy to sit on the back of a motorcycle, in the rain, 600 miles to Woodstock.

Thomas is the proudest Papa ever to his angels. He enjoyed nothing more than taking a walk with Sonny, Logan, Pax, Aislynn, his most loyal little furry friend Mickey, or sitting back with a smile on his face quietly watching Nene and the kids open their Christmas presents. It was the simple things that Papa enjoyed the most.

Mickey enjoyed his walkies with Papa so much and didn't want him to be lonely, so he decided to join him. On Sunday July 11th, Papa met Mickey on the other side of the rainbow bridge. When we celebrate Papa's life this week, Mickey will be joining him in remembrance.

Of all things we will have to strive and live up to, the massive void that he left is being able to successfully cook his world-famous Thanksgiving stuffing. His daughter Michelle has been bequeathed the responsibility of ensuring that legacy is responsibly fulfilled. We are all a little scared, she takes this role seriously (and is a townie)!

Thomas is the beloved husband of Margaret (Byrne) Fitzgerald. He is the devoted father of Matthew Fitzgerald, Ryan Fitzgerald and his wife Christina, Rory Fitzgerald and his wife Michelle and Richard Fitzgerald. The cherished Papa of Logan, Paxton, Sonny and Aislynn, Thomas is the dear brother of Ruth A. Lucey and her husband James, Eleanor E. Bernard and her husband Gary and James M. Fitzgerald and his wife Leanne. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral from the Doherty – Barile Family Funeral Home, 11 Linden St. READING, Saturday, July 17th at 9:30am followed by a Funeral Mass Celebrating Thomas' Eternal Life in St. Athanasius Church, 300 Haverhill St. Reading at 10:30am. Family and friends are cordially invited to gather and share memories with Thomas' Family on Friday, July 16th from 3-7pm in the Funeral Home. Parking attendants and elevator are available.

For more information,
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Frank Fitzgerald, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 16, 2021

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Doherty Barile Family Funeral Home

11 Linden St, Reading, MA 01867

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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