The hardreading staff has had its differences with Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald over the years, but we have only sadness over the loss of his beloved wife, Carol.
From Jessica Heslam’s lovely tribute in today’s Herald:
For Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald, she “swept” him off his feet.
She was home from college for the summer, working at a hamburger joint, when he first laid eyes on her in St. Johnsbury, Vt. — where he’d landed his first newspaper job at the Caledonian-Record.
“I can still remember now, the first time I saw her,” Fitzgerald recalled yesterday. “I was watching her from a little distance but just the way she smiled and her easygoing way — I thought, ‘Wow. This is one classy lady.’ ”
Carol Fitzgerald remained classy throughout the rest of her life.
After 46 years of marriage, and after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, Carol Fitzgerald died last Thursday. She was 65, a beloved mother and grandmother.
“It was like I was on a date for 46 years, that’s how I felt about her, and right to the very end. … I had the feeling, from the coon hunt to this room, and all this machinery, of what a lucky guy I’ve been,” Fitzgerald said. “She was remarkable.”
Joe and Carol raised three children and “shared a passion for old hymns and Southern gospel music.”
She had a big heart and a sweet spirit, Fitzgerald said, and he was “lucky enough” to marry her.
“The honeymoon never ended. At this point in our life, we’d sit every morning for an hour or two, I’d have two or three cups of coffee, and we would just talk about everything, about nothing,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the good stuff.
“I can’t imagine a better marriage,” he added, “than the one we had.”
And we can’t imagine a better epitaph than that.