John F. "Jack" Fitzgerald

Nov 11, 2017
Fitzgerald_Jack news


A celebration of life gathering will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge in Washburn, 6636 La Porte Road.



Inurnment at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Waterloo at a later date


May be directed to Cedar Valley Hospice


John F. “Jack” Fitzgerald, 71, of La Porte City, formerly of Waterloo, died Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

Jack was born February 4, 1946 in Elma, IA, son of Raymond and Florence Freidhof Fitzgerald. He married Jayne Miller March 16, 1990 at St. Edward Catholic Church in Waterloo. Jack graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1968 and later did post‑graduate studies at UNI and Iowa.

He worked for the Waterloo Community Schools from 1968‑2004. He taught at Waterloo East High for 27 years and was Director of Operations from 1992 to 2004. Jack was a member of St. Edward Catholic Church. He enjoyed playing cards and spending time with his family.

Jack is survived by his wife, Jayne of La Porte City; five daughters: Debbie (Dave) Brecher of La Porte City, Colleen (Craig) Weber of Lakeville, MN, Danielle (Justin) Johnson of Waterloo, Kate (Ryan) McKinney of Denver, IA, and Jaime Sharpnack of La Porte City; four sons: David (Tasha) Fitzgerald of Janesville, Scott Fitzgerald of Cedar Falls, IA, Brendan (Cheri) Coughlin of Anoka, MN, and Cassidy Coughlin of La Porte City; 14 grandchildren: Myles, Logan, Spencer, Ruby, Chris, Collin, Cameron, Carson, Marra, Deegan, Chelsi, Bailey, Jesse, and Maureen; four great-grandchildren; four sisters: Pat Rasmussen, Margaret TeKippe, Dianne Gerleman, and Denise Pyfferoen; and four brothers: Gene, Paul, Dennis and Mike Fitzgerald.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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  1. Mike Gilbert (70) | Nov 18, 2017
    A couple of years ago I was at a baseball game for one of my grandsons. I was at the top of the bleachers talking to my wife when I heard "Is that Mike Gilbert I hear?" I looked down and there was Mr. Fitzgerald watching the game. An amazing memory. I enjoyed having him as a teacher early in his career and I am sure he remembered all his students. I ran into him a couple of times after the game and we would enjoy a brief conversation and a chuckle. A great guy. He is missed.
  2. John R Tovar | Nov 17, 2017
    I ran into Mr. Fitz at The Dugout Bar in Waterloo many years ago. We sat down at a booth and I ordered my birthday beer. My friend, Jerry Zbornic laughed and ordered his too. Young lady asked for ID and we slapped them out! Jack laughed and said, "Get one for me too" and produced his drivers license. We all were born on February 4th. Jack was only 6 yrs older than me, but I thought of him as a god of teaching. RIP my friend.
  3. Pat Turner | Nov 17, 2017

    My condolences to Jayne and family. Jack was a gem! Kind, caring, and there for others! I always  will remember him with fondness  He toched so many lives!

  4. Marvin Spencer, Class of 84 | Nov 17, 2017
    Mr. Fitz was a great man and a great East High Trojan.  If there were more like him, we would live in a better place!  Prayers for the family.
  5. Tim Coonradt | Nov 16, 2017
    Just wanted to send my heartfelt condolences to the family. Mr.Fitz was a great teacher , but a better man. I was having problems in high school and he pulled me aside to let me know that he was there for me if I needed anything. That meant a great deal to me. He will be missed and may God take him in his arms! East High Class of 93'
  6. Doris | Nov 16, 2017
    My late husband was a cousin of Jack. With sincere sympathy to all the family members. Love and prayers.
  7. Keith Nerison | Nov 15, 2017

    Mr. Fitz is one of my fondest memories of East High. Always a smile. always on open ear, a role model for all he taught. He will be truly missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

    Keith Nerison

    Class of 82.

  8. Carlous Richard | Nov 15, 2017
    I was saddened to learn of Mr. Fitzgerald's passing. During one's educational career, there are a small number of teachers that truly stand out above the others. It could be due to their personality, the connection that you made with them or due to your experience in their class. And then you have that unique breed of educator that displayed all of the above. That is how I remember Fitz as he was in that very elite group. My sincere condolences to the family.  East High Class of '86. 
  9. Jo Walther | Nov 15, 2017
    I am so sorry to learn this news, Dear Ones.  If there is anything I can do, please don't hesitate to call me.   My prayers and love and sympathy are with you all.
  10. Neal Caughron | Nov 15, 2017

    Jayne and family, our hearts go out to you all.  Jack was such a wonderful man.  He will be missed dearly. He always had a smile on his face and I will always remember what a great man he was. Thinking of you all!

  11. Jeff Huegel C/O 1983 | Nov 15, 2017

    My most heartfelt condolences to the family. Jack was one of those teachers that students remember forever. If not for him I would never have gone into the accounting world. Thanks Mr. Fitz for the guidance you gave me and many others. God has a new angel to add up the numbers. :)  

  12. Marilyn Erdman | Nov 15, 2017
    My condolences to Jack's family. I've known Jack for a number of years and found him to be a true gentleman with a big heart. He always thought of others first. RIP Jack.
  13. Lynette Fitzgerald | Nov 14, 2017
    Jack was very a caring & giving person. He always had a positive outlook on life, he touched many life's and really made a difference in our communities. He will be missed by so many. My condolences to Jayne and his family. East High School Class of 80
  14. Judy (lambert)boyles | Nov 14, 2017

    Mr. Fitz was a awesome teacher I had for bookkeeping when I was in high school at east high I graduated in 1971  did not see him again till 20 years later  when I worked for food service at west high  he was our boss then - the funny part was he still remembered me and asked me how did I get out of being an A student in his class to being a head cook at a high school (I thought it was awesome he would remember me after all those years.)

    He was a great teacher and a great human being  so proud to say I knew him.

    my condolences to all of his family

    I will miss you Mr. FItz!

  15. Sharon Kay | Nov 14, 2017

    Sorry for your loss he was a great teacher. 

    class OF 81

  16. Tacquin M Cribbs ("T") | Nov 14, 2017

    Mr. Fitzgerald was an awsome person and a great teacher. He sincerely cared about the students. He made a difference in my education and my life along with so many others that I know. I did get a chance to tell him some years back how important he was as an educator and a person. I have always been grateful that I had him as a teacher. You all have my deepest condolences. Take Care and God Bless!!

    East High Class of '84 

  17. Brother Mike Fitz | Nov 14, 2017

    My deepest sympathy to Jayne and family.  Jack was a great man and brother, father and friend to all who knew him.  Jack will always be remembered for his knowledge and lending a helping hand to all that were in need.  Love you Brother!!

  18. Debbie Caughron | Nov 13, 2017
    My heart goes out to Jayne and the entire family. Jack will be deeply missed. He was an honor to know and to call my friend. He had a heart of gold.
  19. Janet Smith-Francois | Nov 13, 2017

    Mr. Fitzgerald was one of my favorite teachers ever. 

    He really made the effort to connect with people

    and made people feel like they mattered. He was a

    wonderful man. Janet Smith-Francois East High 1986

  20. Mark Kay | Nov 13, 2017
    Fitzgerald and Griffiths were awesome Teachers. Sorry to hear about Fitz. ! My condolences to his Family.
  21. Mark Kay | Nov 13, 2017
    Fitzgerald and Griffiths were awesome teachers. Sorry to here about Fitz.  My condolences his the family.
  22. Mary Meier— East High Principal 1996-2007 | Nov 13, 2017
    Fitz was a great man and educator!  He cared about people and their lives.  A great listener and could make things happen! We will miss him. All my love to his family. 
  23. Mary Wagner | Nov 13, 2017
    Scott so sorry to hear of the loss of your father.   He was admired by so many the years he taught at East!   
  24. Jill (Brown) Fauser | Nov 13, 2017

    ".......but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child"

    Jack......... you made a difference!!!     Thank you.....

  25. Randy Hess (71) | Nov 13, 2017
    A great teacher and friend you will be missed. Prayers for the family
  26. Jeanne Schuler | Nov 13, 2017

    He was a great teacher and friend.  He was always willing to help you.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.  Class of 78'

  27. Lori Miller | Nov 13, 2017
    My sincere condolences to his family, as they have lost a great man. Fitz was the best teacher ever. He made every student feel special and always took the extra time and effort to help in any way he could. I believe if it hadnt been for him I may have not taken the time to graduate and would not have ended up working in accounting. I loved his warm smile and laughter and all the kind things he did for others. Rest in peace Mr. Fitz, you always be remembered and loved.
  28. Michael Powell | Nov 13, 2017
    Such a great man and staple to the community.  Truly a loss for all.  Prayers to his wonderful family.
  29. Tony Burns | Nov 13, 2017
    I started teaching at East High in the Fall of 1984 and Fitz was a veteran teacher that I looked up to. He was always helpful and insightful on how to handle all the challenges a rookie teacher faces. The kind way he worked with all of the East High Students and Faculty has been a model for me throughout my career. Thanks Fitz!
  30. Sally Walker | Nov 13, 2017

    The world has lost someone special.

    We all want to leave this world in an improved have accomplished leave a Legacy.  A review of the messages left hear is proof Jack succeed in doing this.  I wish I had the pleasure of knowing him.  There is much pain when you loose a Treasure.  Jack surely was pne.

    Sally Walker -  West High Class of 1958

  31. Sandee Mezera-Albers | Nov 13, 2017
    Mr Fitz's wad the best teacher and a great friend. He always had time for you. Prayers to the family.  East High class of 78.
  32. Dave & Nancy Beenblossom | Nov 13, 2017
    So sorry to hear of Jack's passing, our sympathy goes out to Jayne and family.
  33. Scott Borwig | Nov 13, 2017

    Fitz was an amazing friend and mentor! He touched so many people during his journey through life.  I am a lucky guy for having him as my friend. Rest in peace, God Bless.  

    East High class of 82

  34. Lisa Loftus Dawson | Nov 13, 2017
    So Sorry to hear of Mr Fitz's passing, he was such a great teacher and knew how to reach out to each and everyone of his students. RIP.  East High 1981-1983
  35. Sheryl Petersen | Nov 13, 2017
    Mr. Fitzgerald was the best person in every way. He will be missed by many!
  36. Barbara Dietz | Nov 13, 2017

    Such a joy to know Jack personally!  He was such a kind, caring man!  Professionally, he was well respected by everyone he worked with.  Prayers go out to Jane & the entire family

  37. Sue | Nov 13, 2017
    I did not have Mr Frizt as all us called him up at East High Although, two of my three brothers did and they would cone home would tell my parents and I all the wonderful things he taught them in and out of the classroom.  If it wasn't for him, I believe they would had graduated high school.  Sue R,  class of 1986
  38. Geneva (Bradford) Reed - class of 1972. | Nov 12, 2017
    Best teacher ever. He made being in his class an event to look forward to each day. He genuinely cared about each individual student's educational experience and did all be could to make sure the experience was good and positive. I'm very saddened by the news of his passing. 
  39. Charles Stohr | Nov 12, 2017
    Attended East High 90-93. Unforgettable teacher. Genuinely cared for his students. Great man and we will all miss him. 
  40. Kathleen skalsky | Nov 12, 2017
    Sorry to hear about Mr. FITZ passing. Great teacher and loved his classes. You will be missed. Class of 1992 RIP MR FITZ
  41. Daisy Carter | Nov 12, 2017

    Mr. Fitz was full of life and enjoyed his job as a teacher. We need teachers like him in the schools of today.


    Class of 90

  42. Robin (Newman)McNally | Nov 12, 2017
    So sorry for your loss. He was one of my favorite teachers. 
  43. Angelique Barrett Howe | Nov 12, 2017
    So sorry hear . He was my favorite. Very nice man.  Class of 92. East high. Fly high with angels. 
  44. Janie Hruska | Nov 12, 2017

    I attended East from 1969-71.

    He was a great teacher. I will remember him as such a great guy and teacher. 

    My heat felt sorrow goes out to his family and all who will miss him, as I will.

  45. Janie Hruska | Nov 12, 2017

    My sincere condolences to your family.

    I was a student of Mr. Fitzerald. He was a very wonderful teacher. I attended East from 1969-71. 

    May God walk with you in your days of loss. I will remember him for ever.

  46. Kerri Gabbard Wilson | Nov 12, 2017
    So very sorry to learn of Jack's passing. He was one of my favorite teachers. Thoughts and prayers to his family. K
  47. Katie (Simmons) Torrey | Nov 12, 2017
    RIP Mr Fitzgerald.   I had you for a teacher at East High. You were a great teacher. 
  48. Penny St John | Nov 12, 2017
    He was one of my favorite teachers too. He had a huge influence on my life.  Class of 73.
  49. Tony Lutz | Nov 12, 2017

    Mr Fitz was my favorite teacher/ person @ East High. One year he was out playing Santa and lost the address to where he was going. So he knew my family some and knew where we lived and stopped. ( I was  gone) He Played Santa for my little sisters and then ask my Mom for a phone book so He could look up the address of the family he was to visit. She had no idea it was Mr. Fitz  until she told me what the car Santa came in. 

    RIP. Mr. Fitz

    Class of '78

  50. Robert Dew Jr. | Nov 12, 2017
    Mr. Fitzgerald was one of the favorite and respected teachers.  I thought of him often over the years and was always grateful to see him when our paths crossed. East High class of 1986.

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