Roger J. Fitzsimmons

Roger J. Fitzsimmons

Roger J. Fitzsimmons, 91 of Little Silver, NJ passed away peacefully at his home on April 7th, 2023.

Roger graduated from Blessed Sacred Grammar School in East Orange NJ, Seton Hall, Preparatory School in South Orange, and the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana in 1952. Following his graduation in 1952, Roger served as a pilot in the US Navy for four years.

In July of 1954 he married Patricia Riely, his college sweetheart and who he lovingly referred to as “my bride” and best friend their entire marriage.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Roger and Pat settled in Livingston, NJ where Roger started a career in banking working the Trust Division at the Howard Savings Bank in Newark, the Union County Trust Company in Elizabeth. In1966, he moved on to Monmouth County National Bank in Red Bank, which is now Wells Fargo, where he was Senior Vice President. That is when he and his family settled in Little Silver. While working, he continued his bank education. He was a graduate of Northwestern Trust School and Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University.

In 1982 he left banking and joined Merrill Lynch as an Account Executive in the Red Bank office until his retirement in 2000.

Roger was very active in many local groups. He was long time member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Jersey Shore. He was past president of the Red Bank Rotary, the Root Beer and Checker Club, and the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore. He also served on the board of MCOSS, the Red Bank YMCA, and the Local Chamber of Commerce.

In 1982 the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore selected Roger as its “Notre Dame Person of the Year”. The award was presented to him by Father Hesburgh, who was President of Notre Dame at the time.

In his private life he devoted many years to coaching Little League, Pony League, and CYO Basketball.

Roger was an active member at the Church of the Nativity since 1966. He served as a Eucharistic Minister, Reader, and on the Finance Committee for five different pastors. He also volunteered at the Riverview Hospital in Pastoral Care as a Eucharistic Minister for over 20 years. He was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus receiving his Third Degree in Foley, Alabama in 1953 while in the Navy.

Roger was a past member of Monmouth Beach Club, Beacon Hill Country Club and most recently Rumson Country Club. He loved playing golf. His love for the game inspired many family members to learn as well as many trips around the US and UK.

Roger and Pat took great pride in raising their children and in later years helping with their grandchildren. His greatest love and accomplishment in life was his family. He reveled in being on the sideline cheering his children and grandchildren on at games, and all events they participated in. He was known for bringing his small digital camera with him to document each event. Family dinners and vacations were wonderful highlights. He loved organizing family reunions in the backyard with the Fitzsimmons and Riely clans.

To his friends and family, Roger was known for his quick wit and great jokes. You could tell one was coming when he would get a little twinkle in his eye and start elbowing the person next to him while winking. His ability to tell stories and jokes to the young and old of the family was a special talent. It often left you with his infectious laughter ringing in your ears and a new understanding of the phrase “when Irish eyes are smiling”.

While Roger could be easily found in any room due to his unique laughter and deep voice, his signature bowtie collection didn’t hurt, especially when paired with his white bucks, his green handkerchief, and his Navy wings on his lapel. You could always find him on the center of a dance floor or shaking hands with old friends. Both of which often led to him clapping his hand together and exclaiming “GREAT LIFE!”.

Roger was predeceased by his parents James and Anne Fitzsimmons, his brothers James Fitzsimmons and Richard Fitzsimmons and his sister in-laws Patricia Fitzsimmons and Barbara Fitzsimmons.

Roger is survived by his wife, Patricia, who he was married to for 67 years, 3 children Michael, Mark, and Barbara Kirkpatrick (David) and his four grandchildren Colin, Erin, Daniel, and Xavier. He is also survived by his sister Nancy Fitzsimmons and her twin brother Joseph Fitzsimmons, his sister in-law Peggy Fitzsimmons, and many nieces, nephews, good friends, and wonderful neighbors.

Roger lived by three guiding principles of his life Faith, Family, and Notre Dame.

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Friday, April 14th from 4 pm to 7 pm at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, April 15th at 9:30 AM at The Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Rd, Fair Haven NJ 07704. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice or commit small acts of kindness in his memory. Roger always explained to his children and grandchildren that small acts of kindness, such as holding the door open for someone or offering a stranger a smile, make large impacts on people’s lives and often start a cascading effect. On multiple occasions he reminded them that you are never too busy to be kind.

The Fitzsimmons family is grateful for the nurses and aides from Meridian Home Health Care, Hospice and the numerous visits from his sister Nancy.

 

 

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Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740

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