May 5, 2023
Mary Elizabeth (Kilburn) Fitzsimmons, born in 1945 to Austin and Eleanor Kilburn, who lived for 78 years as the guiding light and matriarch of a large and storied family of the St. Lawrence River, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2023 in the company of her family while overlooking the river that she lived on and loved.
As a child Mary summered in the 1,000 Islands with her grandparents Florence and Ernie Porter, near Otter Street. The Fitzsimmons family, Alice and Lowell, lived nearby with their son Pat. The two were wed in 1964 at St. Cyril’s church in Alexandria Bay.
Pat and Mary lived on Hinds Road in Watertown for 30 years. Following Pat’s retirement from the USPS, the couple enjoyed winters in Emerald Isle, NC and summered in the 1,000 Islands with dogs Jessica and then Jack.
She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, “Pat” Colin Patrick Fitzsimmons and her brother Butch (Diane), Calcium, NY. She is survived by her siblings Austin (Ann), Watertown, NY, Susan Fobare (Gerry), Johnson City, TN, Penelope Tanzini (Larry, dec) Clayton, NY and Florence Young (Trace), Ellisburg, NY, her children, Shawn (Chris) Diprinzio, Clayton, NY, and Patrick (Michele), Clayton, NC, her niece Sadie Moynihan (Chip), Fayetteville, NY and grandchildren Cheyenne, Kathleen, Gage, Kennedy, Connor, and Cole, and eight great grandchildren.
Her determination and strong spirit were evident at all times in the way that she persevered through many illnesses and challenges with an unwavering ability to find happiness in the bonds that come from the love for and from her family and the simple pleasures she held near to her heart.
Encapsulating such a tremendous life can not easily be summarized in just a few words. When asked to express this, her family offered… Strong, hilarious, classy, kind, sharp, honest, beautiful, soulful. Thoughts to the same end include, “If my love could save you, you would live forever.” “My last words to you would be, ‘Thank you.’” and “The best of us comes from her.”
Private memorial services will be held in August when her remains will be joined together with her husband in the St. Lawrence River, appropriately near Mary’s Island. As certain as a channel marker, they will spend eternity together on the water as they did so many times on the Lyman.
The family wishes to express special acknowledgment to the caring staff of the River Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Mary’s name to Donate Life. donatelifenys.org/contribute. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton and online condolences to her family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.