He joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, flying rescue missions in the Pacific, stationed in Alaska and Washington. After the service, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1955, retiring in 1980 after 25 years as a traffic enforcement (motorcycle) officer. During the early 1990s, he worked on the Bass Lake Boat Patrol for the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Mr. Fitzgerald was past master of the Masonic Lodge in Alhambra, and a member of the Sierra Lodge. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite and Shrine.
He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed riding his motorcycle to the Raymond General Store to lunch with friends each week. He also enjoyed flying, boating, water-skiing, scuba diving, and was an avid gun collector. In 1977, he began traveling the world with his wife, Sharon.
Mr. Fitzgerald is preceded in death by his parents, his older brother, Wyatt Fitzgerald, Jr., and his youngest son, Raymond Fitzgerald.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sharon, of North Fork, sister Betty O’Neil and husband Warren of Illinois, sons Richard and Dennis of Washington, his adopted daughter, Melissa Cash of Oakhurst, six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at noon, Wednesday, Aug. 26, at the Oakhill Cemetery in Oakhurst. A reception will follow at the Raymond General Store. Donations can be made in his name to the Eastern Madera County SPCA Shelter Fund, P. O. Box 1314, Oakhurst, 93644.