He was born April 2, 1934, in La Crosse to Bill and Betty (Ryder) Fitzpatrick and was raised in Brownsville, Minn. He was baptized, received first communion, and confirmed at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Brownsville. Howard graduated from Lorretto High School in Caledonia in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957 with the Artic Test Branch. He married Patricia Post at St. Columban Catholic Church in Preston, Minn. on September 5, 1959.
Howard was employed by Interstate Power Company at the Lansing Power Plant as head maintenance man and retired after 32 years in June of 1997. He was very active in the New Albin community and served on the EACS School Board, including one term as president, and the New Albin Library Board. Howard was proud of his Irish heritage and his Catholic faith and was a very active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for over forty years.
In retirement, he enjoyed outings with his wife; cutting wood; working on metal and wood projects in his basement workshop, especially building model steam engines; morning coffee with friends; spending time with his grandchildren, including attending his granddaughters’ school activities and summer visits from his grandson; and helping his children with projects at their homes.
Howard lived his life for his family and friends. He was a man of great faith and that faith guided him through his life and impacted the lives of others. He taught by example and instilled the ideas of commitment and service into his three children. His presence will be sorely missed in the circle of his family, friends and colleagues.
He is survived by Pat, his loving wife of 53 years; their children Bill (Ann) Fitzpatrick of Brownsville, Mary Fitzpatrick (Jeff Willemsen) of Salem, Oregon, and Diane Sasaki of La Crosse; grandchildren Shannon and Jenna Fitzpatrick of Brownsville, Connor Fitzpatrick Willemsen of Oregon, and Olivia Sasaki of La Crosse; brothers Jim (Karen) Fitzpatrick of Mahtomede, Minn. and David (Kathy) Fitzpatrick of Brownsville; brother-in-law Bernard Bach of Waldorf, Minn.; and special aunt, Alice Fitzpatrick, of Waldorf, Minn.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, Joseph Fitzpatrick; sister, Rosemary Bach; and newborn son, Steven Fitzpatrick.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Albin with Father John Moser and Father Gregory Leif officiating. Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Brownsville. Friends and family are invited to call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday evening at the New Albin Community Center where a rosary will be said at 7:30 pm. Friends may also call from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until the time of service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Brownsville, Cancer Research at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, or the New Albin Fire and Rescue. McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family and online condolences may be given at mccormickfuneralhome.net