2009-08-08 / Obituaries

Lorabeth Fitzgerald

Lorabeth Fitzgerald Lorabeth Fitzgerald Lorabeth Moore Fitzgerald of Mackinac Island and Grand Ledge died at her East Bluff summer home on Mackinac Island Friday, July 31, 2009, at the age of 82.

She was born August 18, 1926, grew up in Hillsdale, and was graduated from The College of William and Mary in Virginia.

In 1953, she married John Warner Fitzgerald, who would later be elected to the Michigan Senate, Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court, becoming the court's Chief Justice. He passed away July 7, 2006 at the age of 81.

Mrs. Fitzgerald was known for her love of people, conversation, and her knowledge of world affairs.

"We will miss her very much and her ability to see straight through to things," said close friend and East Bluff neighbor Kitty Hannabass. "She was special. A very keen person, who was always very bright, very curious.

"She enjoyed conversations and even with those of varying opinions, and she always was able to express her ideas."

Mrs. Fitzgerald loved poetry and had a wide range of interests, and friends said she loved her view from the East Bluff, looking out over the harbor and the passageway between Mackinac Island and Round Island.

"She loved to sit on her porch," recalled Mrs. Hannabass. "She always thought sitting on the porch was soothing, and she liked to look out at the lake and contemplate."

Friends for more than 40 years, Alice Myron, another East Bluff neighbor, said Mrs. Fitzgerald "was always a source of interesting items and will be missed.

"She read a great deal and kept up with what was going on in the world and always had something interesting to talk about. She was just an all around nice lady. She was a classy lady."

She said it was fitting that on the day she died, the Mackinac Island Town Crier carried a photograph of her reading poetry at an event the preceding week.

During the summers, Mrs. Fitzgerald was a member of a book club and knitting group, was active in the Little Stone Church, and served on the environmental committee of the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

The Fitzgeralds owned their summer cottage on Mackinac since 1961. She was active in various civic groups and served on the Environmental Committee of the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

Mrs. Fitzgerald was a member of the First Congregational, United Church of Christ in Grand Ledge and of the Little Stone Church on Mackinac Island. She was active in civic affairs. She served on the boards of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Greater Lansing Safety Council, the Eaton County Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Grand Ledge Public Library. She founded the Grand Ledge Cooperative Nursery and was founding president of the Grand Ledge Area Historical Society. She had been a long serving member of the Grand Ledge Opera House Authority and a member of the Grand Ledge Garden Club, and was on the board of the Loan and Deposit State Bank, which became Michigan National Bank in Grand Ledge.

The Fitzgerald's eldest son, Frank Moore Fitzgerald, a former Michigan legislator and state insurance commissioner, passed away December 9, 2004 at the age of 49.

Mrs. Fitzgerald is survived by her two other sons, Eric Stiles Fitzgerald and Adam Warner Fitzgerald, both of Denver, Colorado, and a daughter-in-law and children, Ruth Davie Fitzgerald of Grand Ledge and Ellen Lora and John Wesley.

Also surviving are a niece and her family, with whom she was very close, Emily and Paul Fullerton and their sons, Joseph and Samuel, of St. Ignace.

A memorial services was held at the Grand Ledge Opera House at 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 5, with a reception immediately following.

Burial will be in Grand Ledge.

A second service will be held on her birthday on Mackinac Island Tuesday, August 18, at 11 a.m. at the Little Stone Church with the Reverend Vincent Carroll officiating. A reception will follow at the Mackinac Island Yacht Club.

Those wishing may contribute to the Grand Ledge Opera House Special Project Fund, 121 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge, MI 48837.

Holihan-Atkin Funeral Home of Grand Ledge is assisting with arrangements.

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