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William Taylor Fitzgerald

William Taylor Fitzgerald
October 23, 1923 - February 12, 2017

William Taylor Fitzgerald, 93, of Beaumont, died peacefully at his home on February 12, 2017, surrounded by his family.

He was born October 23, 1923, in Laconia, NH and was a resident of Beaumont since 1951, when he was sought by Dr. John Gray to join the faculty and teach Biology at the new 4-year Lamar State College (now University). There, he assisted in the development of the degree programs in Nursing and Medical Technology. He and his wife, Meredith, also a Lamar professor, built lifelong friendships with many in the Lamar community. They both retired in 1984, which for Mr. Fitzgerald was after thirty-three years of teaching and influencing many of the area’s health care professionals.

Bill enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II, where he met and married Meredith Berryhill, who was serving in the Navy as a W.A.V.E. (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). After the war, he went on to graduate from Bethel College in McKenzie, TN and then earned a graduate degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He later attended special sessions at Oak Ridge, TN to study Radiation Biology. As a result of this training, he acted as a Radiation Defense Officer for Jefferson County Civil Defense for many years and was also a Reserve Officer in the U.S. Public Health Corps until his retirement from teaching.

During summer vacations, the Fitzgerald family enjoyed traveling and camping across the U.S. After retirement, he and Meredith traveled extensively throughout the world. They ultimately visited all 50 states, every country of Europe, and every continent but one. They were avid “Airstreamers” for over 40 years, caravanning thousands of miles with their friends of W.B.C.C.I (Wally Byam Airstream Club) and serving on the Board of Directors of their local T.A.H.I. (Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.) unit in Zavalla, TX. He was also a model railroad enthusiast and was recently recognized with a lifetime achievement honor in his Southeast Texas Model Railroaders Club.

Preceding Mr. Fitzgerald in death were his parents John F. Fitzgerald and Mabel Clarice Rowe Fitzgerald; his wife of sixty-eight years, Meredith Kathryn Berryhill Fitzgerald; sister Elizabeth McDermott and brothers John F. Fitzgerald, Jr. and Charles Fitzgerald; and eldest daughter Susan Gaye Fincke.

Survivors include sisters Patricia Deauville of Sebastian, FL and Mary Orton of Laconia, NH; son-in-law Dale E. Fincke of Chocowinity, NC; daughters Pamela Carol and her husband Bill Pearson of Kountze, TX; Nancy Ellen Fitzgerald and husband Randy Robinson of Zavalla, TX; and Kathryn Ann and husband David Turner of Hunt, TX; six grandchildren: Dale E. Fincke, Jr. and wife Jana of Amarillo, TX; Christopher S. Fincke of Seoul, Korea; Amy L. and husband Corey Turner of New Braunfels, TX; Stephen K. Baltz, Jr. of Loveland, CO; Thomas K. Baltz and fiancé Lily Schaffer of Houston, TX; and Emily M. and husband J.B. Dunnam of Baytown, TX; and four great grandchildren: Carla and Chris Fincke; Holden Turner; and Beau Dunnam.

The family graciously thanks Miss Bessie Lomax for her years of kind service to both Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald.

A gathering of Mr. Fitzgerald’s family and friends will begin at 1:00 p.m., with his funeral service at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions can be made, in lieu of flowers, to the “T.A.H.I. Can-Do Fund” at 215 Magnolia, Zavalla, TX 75980 or to an organization of your choice.







 
 

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