Dennis M. Fitzgerald 68, of Mattawan passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday November 14, 2018 at the Brookdale Memory Care Facility in Portage, Mi. He had been battling aggressive Lewey-Body dementia. He was born on October 11, 1950 in Kalamazoo to Michael and Jacqueline (Meehan) Fitzgerald.
He was an adventurous outdoors man from a young age, and spent his early 20s on the West Coast, hunting, fishing, panning for gold and generally living off the land. He lived in many states, including OR, CA, WA, OK, and AK. In November 1979, his first child Jessica Renée was a born, and he settled down to be a family man in his hometown of Kalamazoo. His second child, Christopher Meehan was born June 1982, and not long after, purchased the farmhouse and property he lived at for the rest of his life. Here he led many of his beloved agricultural pursuits. He grew a bountiful garden, and an especially dear interest of his was beekeeping and honey production, a passion first discovered in childhood on a family farm. He loved animals of all sorts, and his farm always included a few dogs, many whom had been rescued from worse fates, or cats who hand roamed in, or been abandoned near his rural farm. He raised his own chickens, ducks, geese, and hogs, was an avid hunter, fisherman, camper, and general outdoors man. He was very mechanically inclined as well, working on motorcycles on the west coast, working in aluminum extrusion for a time, and ultimately becoming a maintenance man for Mattawan Schools, a position he retired from in 2015. There was nothing he couldn’t fix, on the job or around the house. He was very knowledgeable about a vast array of subjects, and was always very happy to help anyone that asked him. It pleased him very much to be of assistance to those he knew, and to see them happy. He was a good-humored and kindhearted soul.
He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children-Jessica Bucchino of Kalamazoo, and Christopher (Hope) Fitzgerald of Mattawan, siblings-Michael (Terry) Fitzgerald of Ajic, Mexico, Kevin (Sue) Fitzgerald of Elk Rapids, Mi, and Pat (Elizabeth) Fitzgerald of South Haven, and three grandchildren-Jemma, Beckett, and Zyla.
Graveside services will be held at 1pm on Saturday, December 15 at Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven. Contributions may be made in his memory to Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan, Great Lakes Chapter.