Helen Maureen Fitzgerald, 87, of Plattsburgh, and formerly of North Creek, NY, and Glens Falls, NY, died Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh, with her family by her side.
Maureen was born on March 19, 1931, in North Creek, NY, the ninth of ten children of Dr. Andrew Barron Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Myrtle (Little) Fitzgerald.
Following her graduation from North Creek High School, Maureen studied at St. Peter’s Hospital School of Nursing, Albany, NY, where she received a diploma in nursing in 1952. From 1952 until 1956, she worked as a staff nurse at Genesee Hospital, Rochester, NY; school nurse teacher at Schroon Lake Cooperative School System; and staff nurse at St. Peter’s Hospital. In 1956, Maureen entered the United States Navy, and served in a variety of staff/administrative/educational and nursing positions throughout the world, including Subic Bay, Philippines; Yokosuka, Japan; and Keflavik, Iceland. During this time, she earned her B.S. from Boston College in 1963, with concentrations in nursing and philosophy, and an M.S. from Ohio State University in 1968, majoring in Nursing Service Administration, with a minor in Medical/Surgical Nursing. Maureen retired from the Navy in 1976, at the rank of Commander, while serving as Chief of Nursing Services at the Submarine Medical Center, Groton, Connecticut. Her military awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (Gold Star), and Surgeon General’s Certificate of Merit.
Following her retirement from the Navy, Maureen continued to demonstrate her love of learning, studying psychology and parapsychology at Union Graduate School, Cincinnati, Ohio, where she earned a Ph.D. in Psychology/Parapsychology in 1980. From 1978 to 1984, she served as an instructor of Parapsychology and Stress Management at Adirondack Community College, Glens Falls. She was a guest lecturer and workshop leader at a variety of educational, church, civic, and special interest groups, discussing self-realization and self-mastery topics. She conducted a number of personal-development programs, and her work included helping military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Maureen was an early adopter of technology in her work. For example, she designed her own relaxation tapes, using computer-generated sounds, for her students. She was also very active in North Creek civic affairs, chairing the hamlet’s “Health and Wellbeing Committee”.
Maureen was a life-long learner, fiercely independent, witty, kind and generous. She was an expert cook and enjoyed serving delicious meals to family and friends. She loved visiting with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends; discussing politics; taking car rides along Lake Champlain to enjoy the area's natural beauty; and eating at many of the restaurants in the Plattsburgh area. She was a life-long cat lover. Those who knew her will miss her feistiness, kindness, cheerful smile, and exclamations of “By Golly!”
Maureen is survived by her sister, Elizabeth Carol (Fitzgerald) Dirolf, of Plattsburgh, and many nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, and grand-nieces. She is also survived by dear friends at Lake Forest and Pine Harbour in Plattsburgh, Bernadette Reed of Glens Falls, and Marianne Hanna of Plattsburgh.
Maureen was predeceased by three sisters: Mary Patricia Fitzgerald, Joan M. (Fitzgerald) Thackrah, and Mary Virginia Fitzgerald; and five brothers: George Barron Fitzgerald, John (Jack) Fitzgerald, Andrew Desmond Fitzgerald, Richard Joseph (Dick) Fitzgerald, and Thomas Joseph Fitzgerald.
Maureen’s family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the staff of Meadowbrook Healthcare for the expert and wonderfully compassionate care provided Maureen.
At Maureen’s request, there will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 1, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Victory Church in Plattsburgh, with the Rev. William Reamer officiating. Interment will occur at a later date in St. James Cemetery in North Creek.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may send a remembrance in Maureen’s name to North Country Honor Flight.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY (518)561-3980. Online condolences may be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com.