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John F. Fitzgerald

January 17, 2023

John F. FitzgeraldJohn F. Fitzgerald, 65, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at his home in Watertown on January 17, 2023, Tuesday morning.

John was born in Rochester August 17, 1957, son of John J. and Kathleen E. Kirby Fitzgerald. The family moved to Watertown and he was a 1975 graduate of Watertown High School. On October 19, 2018 he married Ronda S. Romeo at the Tug Hill Winery. A previous marriage ended in divorce.

John served the City of Watertown as a Firefighter from 1984 until his retirement on July 10, 2010. After his retirement he looked forward to spending time with his fellow firefighters whenever he could, like at Christmas parties and hockey games.

John was a self-taught dancer, enjoying all types of danceable music. He also liked to visit wineries, locally and in the Finger Lakes, and enjoyed the wine tastings and good food. He played golf and had been a member of a league for several years. John liked casinos and Quick Draw and was quite lucky in both. He was an incredible cook.

John was very athletic. He played Bocce Ball and corn hole. He kayaked in local rivers and streams, snowshoed, hiked local trails, and climbed Bald Mountain in the Adirondacks. He was an avid runner, running the Boilermaker in Utica many times and completed a half marathon. John was an adventurer and explorer, always looking for the next challenge. John loved the outdoors, watching sunsets with his wife, camping with family and friends around the area, and always took time to appreciate nature and life in general.

He was a member and Past President of the Sons of the American Legion Post 61. John was a life member and treasurer for five years of the VFW Post 1400 Auxiliary.

John is survived by his wife, Ronda; three children, Danielle, Edward, and Nicole; three stepdaughters, Amber Sweet-LePage, Ashley Sweet Blair and husband Richard, and Alexandria Sweet, all of Watertown; two stepsons, Brad Paro and wife Courtney, Newark, NY and David Paro and wife Jennifer Manning Paro, Clinton, TN; ten grandchildren who called him Papa John; sister Jacqueline L. O'Riley, GA; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his father John, December 4, 1993, mother Kathleen, July 15, 2007, his grandson Jayden Sweet-Blair, his brother Thomas K. Fitzgerald, and his brother-in-law Harlow O'Riley.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown on Saturday, January 21, from 11:30am to 2:30pm. The funeral service will follow at 3:00pm with Rev. Canon Samuel P. Lundy presiding. A celebration of John's life will follow the service at the VFW. Burial in Brookside Cemetery will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Watertown Firefighters Benevolent Association, Inc., P. O. Box 6277, or Circle of Hope, c/o Walker Cancer Treatment Center, 830 Washington St., all in Watertown, NY 13601. Online condolences to John's family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.


#7 Spokes Family 2023-01-21 21:14
We are so sorry for your incredible loss. Sending lots of love and hugs from your family at Spokes.
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#6 Ellen Ransear 2023-01-21 00:54
John was a great guy.Many fond memories. So sorry .The world list a true hero
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#5 Pamela Lefevre 2023-01-19 07:01
My deepest condolences.I worked with John many years ago. He was a wonderful man. RIP John
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#4 Dave & Mary Lowe 2023-01-19 05:33
Thinking of all of John’s family at this sad time. May his memory live on in you all! We have great memories of our own.
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#3 Meg King-Tiernan 2023-01-18 18:48
Ronda- Steve and I send our heartfelt condolences to you in your profound loss of John.
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#2 Pam Knowlton 2023-01-18 18:23
I’m so sorry to hear about John’s passing . I have some wonderful memories of John’s dance moves and he was always so fun and just a really nice guy .My heart goes out to Rhonda and his family .
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#1 Kelly Smith 2023-01-18 17:41
John, They say Fire Fighter are heroes. You will always be a hero in our family, it take a special person to love and care for the girls: Amber, Ashley and Alex and treat them as your own. Camping will never be the same but you will always be remembered and missed.
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