Georgine Marie Fitzpatrick, 90, passed away peacefully of natural causes on February 15, 2021, in Bangor, Maine, where she was a resident of the Westgate Assisted Living facility. Born Georgine Gauch in Kearny, NJ to Louis and Madeline Gauch, she graduated from Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington in 1948. Georgine married Jack Fitzpatrick in 1951 and raised their three children in Kearny and North Caldwell.
Georgine’s family remembers her as a deeply loving and compassionate wife, mother and grandmother, sister, aunt, and cousin who brought joy and comfort to everyone. Her effervescent smile and personality lit up any room. She was a tireless homemaker and party host, and an enthusiastic supporter of everything that her children ever did, including when her eldest became a police officer, a career choice she wasn’t very happy with. Georgine was a cool, mini-skirt wearing mom during the sixties. She loved novels and movies, especially her favorites, Gone with the Wind and any film starring John Wayne, but especially True Grit. She was the US Space Program’s biggest fan, and knew the name of every astronaut and every NASA mission. She was so immersed in space minutiae that when her boys’ Cub Scout pack was preparing to march in the Kearny Memorial Day parade, Georgine—who was a den mother—designed and built a float commemorating Telstar One, America’s first telecommunications satellite. An amazing cook and baker of themed birthday cakes (cowboys, trains, and Snoopy, to name a few), she was also a seamstress extraordinaire and designer of many original Halloween and school play costumes.
Georgine reentered the work force in her forties, starting as a receptionist at Rollei of America, a German camera manufacturer located in Fairfield. Within two years she was elevated to the position of personnel director. In retirement, Georgine and Jack lived in Toms River and Avon-by-the-Sea, in her family’s summer home of many generations. With characteristic vigor and charm, Georgine became the founding president of the Avon-by-the-Sea Woman’s Club, an active leader of the Catholic Daughters at Saint Elizabeth’s Church, and an avid golfer.
Georgine brimmed with unconditional love for her family. Her devotion took many forms. When her young granddaughter wanted pet goldfish, it was Grandma who smuggled them home (against the explicit wishes of her son and daughter-in-law). As the generation before her aged, Georgine time and again assumed the role of end-of-life caregiver. In the depths of her own dementia, Georgine still loved to tickle her grandchildren’s arms, exchange the words “I love you,” and occasionally stun the room with statements like, “I want to be harmonious with all of your fates.”
Georgine is predeceased by her husband Jack (2005), her brother Robert Gauch Sr. (2003), and sister-in-law Louise Gauch (née Saller), her best friend. She is survived by sons Brian (wife Angela) of Thousand Oaks, CA, Greg (wife Kelly) of Orland, ME, daughter Beth Fusco of Ventura, CA, grandchildren Corrine, Shannon, and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, Austin and Matthew Fusco, and great-granddaughter Ilona Fitzpatrick Jennings.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Condon Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny, NJ 07032 (phone 201-991-1568). A funeral Mass will be offered in Saint Elizabeth’s Roman Catholic Church, Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 10am. Private entombment will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, PO Box 96011 Washington, DC 20090 or alz.org/donate.
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