August 24, 1952 – April 15, 2018
Much-loved family man, friend, poet, mentor, pastor and avid baseball fan, Michael died following a lengthy process of living with glioblastoma. With his classic wit and wisdom, Michael chronicled his journey on Facebook for family and friends. He shared his life ponderings in his blog and in two lyrical poetry collections, Footfalls and Wild Bouquet.
Michael was a deep thinker and an insightful person. His sense of humor brought smiles and laughter. He was a scholar athlete and graduate of Sammamish High School, an alum of the University of Washington, and a graduate of California State University Sacramento, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He completed his M.Div. at North Park Seminary in Chicago and Clinical Pastoral Education at Sutter Hospitals in Sacramento and spiritual direction at the Mercy Center.
Over the course of thirty years, Michael served congregations in Mercer Island, Washington; Rochester, Minnesota, and Scotts Valley, California. His sermons were filled with humorous and thoughtful applications and shared with people across the country and around the world. He was a spiritual director and mentor to many; an insightful poet and author. He cherished and loved his family, cared for his friends, and cheered passionately for his favorite baseball teams: the San Francisco Giants and all the teams his grandchildren, friends, and family members played for each season.
Born in the Navy town of Bremerton, Washington to Patricia and John (deceased) FitzGerald of Bellevue, Washington; husband of forty-two years to Cynthia Sue Towne FitzGerald; father of Amy (Chris) and Lindsay (Thomas), grandfather to Aaron, Brendan, Siri, and Domanic. Michael appreciated his teams of caring friends and extended family up and down the west coast, across the country and on the other side of the Atlantic. He was especially thankful for their ongoing support and thoughtfulness over the course of his end of life journey. The family deeply appreciated the care of the Santa Cruz County Hospice team as well.
The memorial service for Michael will be held at Community Covenant Church in Scotts Valley, California on May 20th. The family requests that memorial gifts be sent to the Cabrillo College Stroke & Disability Learning Center (6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA 95066) where Michael led the men’s group and later became a student. In lieu of flowers, please add a plant or tree to your environment that can live on in Michael’s memory. Remember him when you watch a baseball game and cheer for a young person trying hard to play well in life.