Tex Fitzgerald died on Aug. 4 and Port Washington lost one of its most valuable and probably one of its best known community members. I don't know if Tex was ever president of anything and I know he would have been embarrassed to be called a community leader but he was a conscientious and dedicated supporter of a number of community organizations and of his church and a caring human being.
When Tex said he would do a job, one could be assured it would be done expeditiously and done thoroughly. He was a trustee of the Cow Neck Historical Society for many years, serving as treasurer, corresponding secretary, chairman of the house and grounds committee (no mean task when one is responsible for two 200 year old houses), traffic director at fund-raising fairs and official greeter at programs and parties. He was an usher at Our Lady of Fatima, his parish church. He got out the vote for the Republican Club and cheerfully worked with Democratic office holders to effect civic improvements. He belonged to and worked for fraternal organizations such as the Elks and Rotary. His wife Lucy, a longtime art teacher at the Main Street school, was a member of the Sons of Italy and the Retired Teachers Association. Upon her death he became an associate member of both to help carry on her interests.
But his worth is measured in more than his support of community organizations. He was in daily phone contact with his daughter Mary Lynn, who lives outside of Washington, DC. He was the sort of person who, in an ever more stressful world, looked out for friends and neighbors during their times of illness or trouble, often performing unsung acts of kindness. It was a little harder for us to check in on Tex, who, despite his training as an engineer, steadfastly refused to have anything to do with telephone answering machines and email. He much preferred the one-on-one phone call or a visit.
Tex Fitzgerald was a truly good person. His will be a hard act to follow but I hope we have learned something from it.
Joan G. Kent
Cow Neck Historical Society