David Paul Fitzgerald, P.E. was taken from us on June 27th, his 57th birthday, as he bicycled back from a workout at the NE pool in Gainesville, Fl. A man who could not still, David touched many lives.
David was born in Richmond, Virginia and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech where he met his wife, Kiera. Accepted into Tau Beta Pi, he graduated in 1983 with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in biology. He moved to Florida to work at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, then to Gainesville where, he received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on robotics and controls from the University of Florida. He was the lead designer on a pilot decontamination system for the US Air Force prior to accepting a position at CH2M Hill where he rose to the level of senior project manager and eventually served as CH2M HILL’s Southeast Regional Information Solutions Operations Manager. In 2000 he left CH2M to start D.P. Fitzgerald, Inc., where his knowledge of PLC programming and SCADA systems, coupled with his process mechanical and biology backgrounds, made him an unparalleled expert in his field.
More importantly, having his own consulting firm allowed him to be actively involved with his two sons. He and Liam achieved blackbelts in Taekwondo. He was Cullen’s diving coach, leading him to become the #1 diver in the county and region and a finalist at States. And, through P.K. Yonge, David became renowned for his set building skills, including the rotating set for Les Misérables.
After his sons graduated, David shifted his focus to singing in the Gainesville Civic Chorus’s Master Chorale and Chamber Singers. A high lyric baritone, he had been taking lessons and extended his vocal range from low G to high G and touched a high B flat at his last lesson. He and Kiera took ballroom dance classes and really enjoyed Latin dance. David was also learning Gaelic and Spanish. For 28 years they camped with the same friends.
David leaves behind his wife, partner, and best friend Kiera, they would have celebrated their 35th anniversary this year, sons Liam and Cullen Fitzgerald, mother Lydia O’Neil, father Irving F. “Boonie” ’Anderson, Jr. (Mickey), half siblings Kathryn O’Neil Hill (David Hill), Paul O’Neil (Jennifer O’Neil), Irving F. “Kip” Anderson, III (Mary), Michael Scot Anderson (Katherine), Mathew G. Anderson (Michelle), aunt Jacqueline Smith (Joe), uncles Raymond A. Anderson (Norma Jean), Mark W. Anderson (Bonnie). Mother-in-Law Fionnuala Swords, brothers and sister-in-law Brendan M. Swords (Sherilyn), Aidan J. Swords, Owen P. Swords (Ruth), Mairin B. Swords (Linda Buonocore – deceased), and Kevin Swords (deceased), 10 cousins, 14 nieces and nephews, 7 grand nieces and nephews, and countless good friends who have surrounded Kiera, Liam and Cullen with love and compassion though this difficult time, you know who you are. In lieu of flowers, contributions in David’s memory can be sent to one of his favorite organizations:
The People’s Bank for Bobby Hill Fund, P.O. Box 4250, Eatonton, GA 31024, The Gainesville Civic Chorus, http://www.gcchorus.net/, Virginia Tech or University of Florida Chapter of the Engineers Without Borders, https://www.ewb-usa.org/ or Alachua Habitat for Humanity, http://www.alachuahabitat.org/
A celebration of life choral concert will take place Sunday July 16th at 2:00 pm at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church 9700 W. Newberry Road, Gainesville, FL 32606.