Joseph D. Fitzgerald, 79, of Beverly, died May 17, 2020.

Funeral services were held May 27 at St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church.

He is survived by his best friend of 54 years, Judith Fitzgerald; his children, Joseph (Colette), Jennifer (Wesley Wright), Julie and Amy (Thomas Ruggieri) Fitzgerald; his grandchildren, Elizabeth, Molly and Katherine Quaid, Joseph, Daniel, Charles, Sarah and Michael Fitzgerald, Kellen and Tessa Wright, and Francesca and Leo Ruggieri; his nieces and nephews, Mary Ann, Patrick, Michael (Pamela), Joseph (Whitney), Erin, John (Moshi) and Christopher Fitzgerald; his sister-in-law, Jill; his best buddy, Oliver; and many cousins, family members and friends.

Fitzgerald was a proud graduate of St. Felicitas Elementary School (1954) and Mendel Catholic High School (1958) where he was a contributing member of the 1957 Prep Bowl Championship football team and held state records in track and field.

He graduated from Southern Illinois University (1966) and began a career in special education with the Chicago Public Schools. He left the classroom to help manage the family produce business, but he always remained an educator at heart to his “extended family” of beloved coworkers at Finer Foods, Inc.

He retired in 2009 as the executive vice president and devoted himself to his grandchildren. He often said his greatest accomplishment was his family, and he always valued the importance of his faith, friends and colleagues.

Fitzgerald’s hope is to be remembered through kindness. Please spread kindness, not only to those close to you but to others, especially the front-line medical workers. The Fitzgerald Family is indebted to the Advocate Christ Medical Center staff who cared for Fitzgerald during his brief battle with COVID-19.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Smile Train, RUSH University Medical Center COVID-19 Response Fund, and Advocate Health Care Charitable Foundation.