Obituary Listings

Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald

November 29, 1939 December 27, 2018
Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald
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Obituary for Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald

Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald passed away December 27, 2018 surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 79.

Judge Fitzgerald served on the Michigan Court of Appeals for 24 years, first elected in 1990 and reelected in 1996, 2002, and 2008. He was ineligible to seek a fifth term by the Michigan Constitution provision limiting judicial candidacy to persons under the age of 70.

His colleagueson the Court remember him as “one of the most decent, caring individuals one could ever meet, who loved the work of the Court, the people of the Court, and was always eager to help with extra work.”

Prior to his election to the Court, Fitzgerald was a trial attorney in private practice for 24 years, with a primary practice concentration in criminal and domestic relations law. In 1968 he joined Ellis Bowler & Associates in Durand, and in 1969 established the law firm of Fitzgerald and Dumon. While in private practice, Fitzgerald earned a reputation as an aggressive, caring and tireless advocate for his clients. He was wellknown for meetingwith clients at 6:30 a.m. prior to appearing in various courts throughout the day. His deep passion for the law and a ‘never quit’ perseverance was epitomized by his three election runs for the Appellate Court before winning on the fourth election bid.

Judge Fitzgerald was born in Detroit and attended Assumption High School in Windsor.  He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Detroit. As an undergrad Tom played baseball on scholarship and helped ‘U of D’ reach a number 2 national ranking.  He was also an acclaimed Golden Gloves boxer. Tom put himself through law school while working full time for the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department. He received an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps in 1962 and was an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School from 1991-96. Judge Fitzgerald was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church of Owosso.

Tom dearly loved the town of Harbor Springs, where he had a condo and was a member of Harbor Pointe Golf Club. He also greatly enjoyed sharing time with his many friends at Owosso Country Club.

Judge Fitzgerald was predeceased by his parents Ruby and Edward Fitzgerald.  Survivors include his wife of 33 years Kathy, children John, Jennifer, and Mary Kate (Keeter), son-in-law Adam Keeter, sister- and brother-in-law Sally and Dennis Murphy, Rob Hunter, former wife Gwen Fitzgerald, and many nieces and nephews.

Tom’s generous and loving spirit and gregarious personality will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan.7, 2019 at St. Paul Catholic Church with the Fr. Michael O’Brien officiating. The family will receive friends at the Shiawassee County 35th Circuit Courtroom (third floor), 208 N. Shiawassee St., Corunna, from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Access to Justice Campaignadministered through the State Bar of Michigan; 306 Townsend St. Lansing, MI  48933.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Judge E. Thomas Fitzgerald, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 1/6/2019 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 1/6/2019 8:00:00 PM
Shiawassee County Circuit Court, 3rd Floor in the Main Courtroom

208 North Shiawassee Street
Corunna, MI 48817

Shiawassee County Circuit Court, 3rd Floor in the Main Courtroom
208 North Shiawassee Street Corunna 48817 MI
United States





10:00 AM 1/7/2019 10:00:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic Church

111 North Howell Street
Owosso, MI 48867

St. Paul Catholic Church
111 North Howell Street Owosso 48867 MI
United States

Cemetery Details


Oak Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

1101 S. Washington Street
Owosso, MI 48867

1101 S. Washington Street Owosso 48867 MI
United States

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