Obituary: Mary E. (Fuller) Fitzgerald, 1929-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Mary E. (Fuller) Fitzgerald, 1929-2024

Burlington woman was a shining example of the difference one person can make in a family, a community and the world

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Published May 27, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.


Mary Fitzgerald - COURTESY
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  • Mary Fitzgerald

Mary E. (Fuller) Fitzgerald passed away on May 19, 2024, at the Converse Home in Burlington, Vt., three blocks from her childhood home on St. Paul Street. She was surrounded by loving family, friends and caregivers.

Mary Ellen was born at home to Helena (Mulcahy) and Adam Fuller on July 18, 1929. She attended Adams, Cathedral Grammar and Christ the King schools, graduating from Cathedral High School as salutatorian in 1947 with her future husband, John R. Fitzgerald (affectionately known as “Dick”). She earned her BS in home economics at the University of Vermont, class of 1951, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi women’s fraternity and Mortar Board. On August 4, 1951, she married Dick, and they celebrated 54 wonderful years together.

Mary worked as a dietician in the Waterman Building at UVM while Dick was in medical school. She was the first lay woman trustee of the Fanny Allen Hospital board, a longtime member and past president of the Winooski Historical Society, a Girl Scout leader, a Rice Memorial High School board member, a member of the Winooski Community Development Committee, a eucharistic minister at St. Stephen Parish, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for many years. Mary Ellen enjoyed travel, reading, games and socializing with her many friends from Park Street, Spaldings West Shore (where she spent over 50 summers), her Lime Kiln Road apartment and Converse Home. She loved life and was a faithful Catholic role model and teacher and a shining example of the difference one person can make in a family, a community and the world.

Mary is survived by her eight children: John M. and wife Donna (Lane), Elizabeth, Julia and husband Bill Crenshaw, Mary Jo and husband Gene Risi, Jeffrey and wife Lynda (Plavin), Andrew and wife Carolyn (Lee), Jane and husband Joseph Parrish, and Joseph and wife Bethany (Saulpaugh). She is also survived by 20 grandchildren: Emily, Peter, Michael, Timothy, Matthew R., Adam, Mark, Matthew F., Lydia, Daniel, Katherine, Connor, Gregory, Sarah, Margaret, Liam, Sean, Molly, Gretchen and Britta; and 12 great-grandchildren: Adeline, Jack, Ingrid, Henry, Ava, Harper, Emerson, Olivia, Alessandra, Lila, Violet and Zoe (born on May 17, 2024!). Mary Ellen is also survived by sister-in-law Carol Fitzgerald of Durham, N.H., and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Predeceasing Mary are her husband, John R. Fitzgerald; sister, Eileen Thomas; brother, Michael Fuller, and his wife, Margaret; nephew Bill Thomas; niece Karen Fuller; brother-in-law Thomas P. Fitzgerald and his wife, Peggy; brother-in-law Robert Fitzgerald; and infant granddaughter Elizabeth A. Fitzgerald.

The family wishes to express sincere gratitude to Dr. Marga Sproul, Mary’s primary care physician, and the nurses and staff of Converse Home (where she enjoyed the last 22 months of her life) for their care and kindness.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 31, 2024, 11 a.m., at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Winooski with a reception to follow at 12:30 p.m. Arrangements are in the care of LaVigne Funeral & Cremation Service in Winooski. To send online condolences to her family, please visit vtfuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Mary’s memory to Converse Home, 272 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401; Vermont Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, PO Box 1079, Montpelier, VT 05601; or Rice Memorial High School, 99 Proctor Ave., So. Burlington, VT 05403, attn: Fitzgerald Fuller Scholarship Fund.

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