William (Bill) Fitzgerald

William (Bill) Fitzgerald, 84, beloved husband of Betty (Elizabeth McDonnell) Fitzgerald died on January 15, 2011 at Laurel Ridge Nursing Home after a brief illness.  He was born on July 14, 1926 in New Haven, CT, the son of Ruth (Geer) Fitzgerald and William Fitzgerald, Sr.

Bill attended New Haven schools.  At age 13 he became an Eagle Scout and retained the enthusiasm for camping with his children and grandchildren until he was 82.

When he graduated from New Haven High School (Hillhouse), he was awarded a scholarship to Yale University.  He left college to join the US Navy as an Electronics Technician in WWII, returning to Yale at the end of the war.  After graduation he worked for an engineering firm in West Haven for one year before attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he completed his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering.

In 1951 Bill joined IBM Poughkeepsie, NY. He transferred to IBM Kingston, NY in 1959 and later that year a scholarship program was initiated for which 250 employees competed. Bill was one of four chosen for the PhD program and completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.  He returned to IBM Kingston, thence to the IBM Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY as a Research Staff Member.  While at IBM Development he was a second level manager in Power Systems and Superconducting Computer Circuits. He also specialized in Computer Aided Electrical and Mechanical Design, Drafting and Manufacturing.  Bill is the holder of six US patents and also part of the team that wrote the technical computer language, Programming Language One (PL1). During this time he rose to become a top award-winning Toastmaster for the greater Danbury region.

After retiring from IBM, Bill worked for Glemser Tech, Bethlehem PA; was an Adjunct Professor at Western Connecticut State University; and established his own enterprise, Fifth Star Software.  Bill volunteered his time and expertise to area organizations: including having created a database for Meals On Wheels of Ridgefield; as a computer skills teacher at the Ridgefield Men's Club, of which he was a member; and as a member of Founder’s Hall where he was a consultant in the Open Computer Lab.

Bill coached Tee Ball, Little League and Babe Ruth baseball.  He was a regular lap swimmer at the Ridgefield Recreation Center.  As a member of St. Mary Parish, Bill taught CCD classes.

Bill & Betty were married for 58 years.  They have five children:  Ann (and her fiancĂ© George Haug), Bill and Lynn Fitzgerald, Diane and Luis Diocares, Bob and Maria Fitzgerald and Tom and P.J. Fitzgerald, in addition to grandchildren Kate, Stephen and Janel Fitzgerald.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Janury 20, 2011 at 10:15am in St. Mary Church, Ridgefield.

Interment will take place in St. Mary Cemetery at the direction of the family.

There will be no calling hours.


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