Cover photo for William P. FitzGerald III's Obituary
William P. FitzGerald III Profile Photo

William P. FitzGerald III

March 28, 1924 — February 29, 2024

Columbia, Maryland

William P. FitzGerald III

Columbia, Maryland – died peacefully at his home on February 28, 2024, Mr. William Paul FitzGerald III, husband of 57 years to Ruth Jarrett FitzGerald. Other family members include sons: William (LTC, Ret.); John (Susan); grandchildren: John Charles and Brooke; sister: Cheri Burchard (the late Rev. Russell Burchard).

Bill was a native of Towanda, Pa., born March 28, 1934. Growing up in a small town and rural community during World War II, his father William Paul FitzGerald's death when Bill was sixteen, and active Boy Scout life highlighted by his participation ca. 1951 in the 7th World Scout Jamboree in Europe - a truly formative time and place for Bill, he maintained his love for Towanda all his life and visited often. After college at Washington & Lee University, he enlisted in the U.S. Army - duty station Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington DC. After military service he was a stockbroker at the DC office of Wall Street firm Orvis Bros. He later returned to Pennsylvania to work at the Hershey Trust.

Moving the family to Maryland when Ruth started her career as a linguist at the National Security Agency, he entered federal civilian service at the Social Security Administration and worked in its International Programs and Congressional Affairs Offices.

His and his generation's respect for military service was exemplified best during his son's 2005 Iraq deployment - when Bill and Ruth held vigil and visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed every week that year. Bill was a member of The Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution. He was an active and engaged volunteer which at various points throughout his life included among others - the board of the Lighthouse for the Blind, board of the English Speaking Union Washington DC chapter, and the vestry of Grace and St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Baltimore Md.

His remarkable voice, capacious and natural curiosity about people, his uncanny sense of the rarest connections and details - became an unexpected source of uplift for many. Bill met Ruth in Washington DC in 1967 - and as their life as a couple reached well into retirement they forged new bonds and commitments. Ruth was at his side at the time of his death.

A committed Episcopal Anglo-Catholic; a proud son of Towanda, Pa.; proud Washington & Lee University alumnus; prouder father and grandfather; and a loving, devoted husband.

Bill will be buried in his wife's hometown Augusta, Georgia as he requested. A graveside service with family will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Westover Memorial Park with Dr. Talmadge A. “Joe” Bowden officiating . A requiem mass at Grace and St. Peter's is anticipated in the coming months.

In place of flowers the family requests consideration of donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Walter Reed Society (supporting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center patients and their families), or Samaritan's Purse.

Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William P. FitzGerald III, please visit our flower store.


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