Geoffrey “Jeff” John FitzGerald, 66, completed his earthly journey on Sept. 26, 2022. Born on Oct. 4, 1955 to the late Christopher James FitzGerald III and Margaret Dell (Daly) in Evanston, his younger years were lived out among the water, woods, and treehouses of Evanston, Cincinnati, and his family’s longest home, Oak Park. The fourth of nine children, he was known to his siblings as “Adventure Boy,” due to his intrepid spirit.
He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School, and Harrington College of Design. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Marie (Riggs) FitzGerald, for 29 years. They shared homes and businesses in McGregor, Iowa and Minneapolis, Minnesota, before a houseboating trip led them to small-town living in Lansing, Iowa. There, they opened FitzGerald’s Inn Bed and Breakfast and completed their family of four children, before settling in Dubuque in 1997.
He had a deep love for the Mississippi River, historic buildings, gardening, and bringing life back to everything from plants and flowers to hardwood floors and trim. He had a discerning eye for restoration and renovation. Where some saw lost cause, he saw potential. He was passionate about painting, architecture, and historic preservation.
Wherever he was, music was playing. A lover of all genres, he enjoyed setting the scene of any family event with music, lighting, great food, and room for dancing. Never lost for words, he had a rich store of anecdotes for any listening ear. Where laughter was needed, he could provide. His jocular nature and infectious laugh could cure most ailments. Dynamic and resilient, he overcame illness for the better part of three decades, surpassing expectations and always living by his own terms and timeline.
Jeff is survived by his children, Meghan FitzGerald, Kyle (Callie) FitzGerald, Erin FitzGerald, and Riley FitzGerald; their mother, Marie FitzGerald; and his eight grandchildren, Mikayla and Elijah Farber, Ruby FitzGerald, Jaylen, Michelle and Maleyah FitzGerald, Tyler Cassady, and Wesley FitzGerald-Meekins. He was survived by seven siblings, Mary, Bill, Chris, Sheila, Brian, Catherine, and Terry, along with his brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Margaret “Peggy” FitzGerald.
Jeff’s family would like to extend a sincere thank you to those involved in his care throughout the years at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, MercyOne, Medical Associates, especially Dr. Jeffrey Meier, Dr. Stephen Frommelt, and the wonderful staff at Dubuque’s Visiting Nurse Association.
As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to the Dubuque VNA via the Finley Health Foundation, 350 N. Grandview, Dubuque, IA 52001.
A celebration of life will occur at a later date.