Cover photo for James Patrick Fitzgerald's Obituary
James Patrick Fitzgerald Profile Photo

James Patrick Fitzgerald

December 25, 1943 — January 20, 2024

Pleasant Valley, Missouri

James Patrick Fitzgerald

James Patrick Fitzgerald

Dec. 25, 1943 – Jan. 20, 2024

Jim was born December 25th, 1943 in Rapid City, SD to Gerald and Ann Christensen Fitzgerald.   His paternal grandfather was also named James Patrick Fitzgerald.  James, the elder, was the son of an Irish immigrant who homesteaded land in Union and Minnehaha counties in South Dakota.

Jim attended school in Rapid City, SD until the family moved to Las Vegas, NV.  From 1966 to 1969 Jim owned and operated a filling station in Huntington Beach, CA.  Most of his life was spent in Liberty, MO where he owned and operated Liberty Tow Service for more than 40 years.

During the Vietnam War Era Jim served in the National Guard.  The men in his unit were fitted up and ready to deploy when he was asked if he was afraid.  Jim’s answer was, “I can shoot as good as any man, I’m not afraid of combat, but we’re going to the jungle and there are spiders in the jungle”!

In his lifetime Jim proudly served on the police forces in Holly, Michigan and Liberty, Missouri. For a short time he served as Chief of Police in Green Ridge, Missouri.

On Jan. 22, 2022, in Eureka Springs Arkansas, Jim married the love of his life, Cheryl Darlene Brown Jensen.  After they were reunited, Jim admitted that he had a crush on Cheryl when he sat in front of her in 8th grade.

No matter where he lived, Jim always considered the Black Hills of South Dakota his home.   Even though he and his siblings were spread throughout the Country, they and their many children and grandchildren gathered together as often as they could.  Many Fitzgerald Clan reunions have been enjoyed throughout the years.   More than 90 family members were in attendance at the last one which was held in June, 2023 in Deadwood, South Dakota.   

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, Carol Rogers, Colleen Simpson, Patricia Messig and Rita Lowe.

What Jim cherished most in life was being with his family and friends.  Among those who survive and gratefully shared his life are his wife, Cheryl, his children, Shawna (Don) Hayes, Lisa Bumgarner, Ian Borath, Teresa Jensen, Richard (Lorie) Jensen and his dearly loved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  His remaining sisters are Barb Seed and Jan Jones.  He also leaves many nieces and nephews who appreciated and loved him dearly.

Respecting Jim’s wishes, there will be a celebration of his life in the Black Hills when the snow melts.

The family wishes to thank everyone at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care for the kind, compassionate way that they cared for Jim and his family during his final days.  

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be given to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, 9001 State Line Road, Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64114.  Online donations can be made via https://www.kchospice.org/donation/

You may share a message with the family or sign an online guest book via www.parklawnfunerals.com.  Arrangements: Park Lawn Northland Chapel (816) 781-8228. 


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