Obituary for Edward W.J. FitzGerald Jr.
On October 21, surrounded by family and enveloped in their love, Edward William Joseph FitzGerald, Jr. left this world for the next. Loving father, devoted husband, amazing brother, fascinating uncle, faithful friend, mentor and stand-in parent to many Berea College students, beat poet, political and cultural commentator, shadow puppet creator, fossil hunter, collector of plants and animals, singer of many Irish ballads, and aficionado of port wine, Ed will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
Born to Edward and Ruth FitzGerald on March 27, 1945, Ed’s childhood years were lived in Bayside, Queens, New York. After college, Ed became International Student Advisor at St. Michaels College in Colchester, Vermont, where he created a spoken-word coffeehouse in Burlington known as “The Loft.” Moving to Thailand to teach English at Krirk College and Thammasat University, Ed courted and married the love of his life, Nuchanas (Noi) Supmamak on January 9, 1972. Ed and Noi relocated to Berea, KY in 1977, where he began a 20 year career as International Student Advisor and Head Resident of Dana Dormitory and Danforth Dormitory.
After retiring due to the increased physical impacts of multiple sclerosis, Ed and Noi relocated to Lexington, where they lived with daughter Marisa Aull (Chad), and granddaughter Isabella and infant grandson William, and near son Eamonn FitzGerald (Kate) and granddaughter Blythe. With the support and assistance of Chad, Eamonn, Marisa and Kate, and particularly the loving and devoted attention of Noi, Ed was able to stay at home during his final months. Ed lived to celebrate Noi becoming a naturalized U.S. Citizen in September, 2017, and to welcome his grandson William to this world. While the disease took his mobility and much of his breath, his whispered words remained pithy and wise to the end.
Ed will long be remembered for his love and devotion to family, to friends, and to the thousands of students to whom he was an ally, a teacher, and a friend. Small in stature, he was larger than life to those fortunate enough to have known him. He is now at peace and is reunited with his parents Ed and Ruth.
Ed is survived by his wife, Noi, daughter Marisa (Chad), son Eamonn (Kate), grandchildren Isabella and William Aull, Blythe FitzGerald (and soon to arrive baby boy FitzGerald), brothers Rick and Tom, and sisters Maureen and Jane, his best friend Ralph Thompson and many nephews, nieces, and friends who will hold his memory dear. Ed will be greatly missed.
The FitzGerald and Aull families wish to thank Hospice of Lexington (especially Tony) for their assistance during the final months of Ed’s life.
A funeral mass will take place on Friday, October 27th at 10 am at St. Clare’s Catholic Church in Berea with a celebration of his life immediately following mass. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested contributions be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or Hospice of the Bluegrass.