Henry “Lowell” Fitzgerald

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Henry “Lowell” Fitzgerald, 87, of Dana Point, California, left this earth and went to be with the Lord on May 31, 2023 in Friendsville, Tennessee.

Lowell was enthusiastic about life, an idea man, and determined to “finish strong.”

Lowell was born to Mamie Christie in Port Arthur, Texas on September 5, 1935. He was adopted by John and Rubine Fitzgerald.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur.

After serving two years in the army, Lowell and Jeanine Crawford were married on June 1, 1957.

Lowell continued his education at the University of Texas and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.

Lowell and Jeanine lived in Austin, Port Arthur, and Houston where their first three children, John, Charisse, and Ava Eileen were born.

Then the family made a big move from Texas to east Tennessee where Lowell was plant engineer at Bush Brother’s Cannery.

They lived in the beautiful Smoky Mountains for eleven years, and their fourth and last child, James, was born.

Then one more big move across the country to southern California where Lowell worked for Mars Incorporated until retirement.

After retirement Lowell and Jeanine bought a bakery in Mission Viejo, California and ran the business for the next fifteen years.

While in high school Lowell worked for Murphy’s Cake Shop and all his life enjoyed baking and cooking.

Lowell loved sailing and spent many hours sailing off the California coast.

Lowell and Jeanine enjoyed traveling the world especially to Tennessee, Galveston and Tahiti.

Jeanine says her life has been much more adventurous being married to Lowell.

Through the years music was always a special source of enjoyment for Lowell and the family.

Lowell had a beautiful tenor voice and sang many solos, especially at church.

As their children got older and learned to play various musical instruments the family sang and played together often at church and community events.

For the past fifty years Lowell was an avid runner, completing two marathons. He was an excellent chess player. Lowell loved visiting his family in Texas and Louisiana, and he always looked forward to the large family gatherings.

He also loved the delicious crawfish, oysters, crab and other seafood in those areas. Lowell loved ice cream, especially homemade vanilla made with Tahitian-grown vanilla beans.

In the early seventies a good friend came to Lowell and said, “Fitz, I know a piece of land you should buy.”

This land in the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee was called Boomer and Lowell loved it from the first time he saw it. He and Jeanine bought the land, built a small log cabin, and planted Christmas trees. It was his dream to build a bigger and better log cabin home on the mountain and many years later the dream came true.

The new house sits on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley surrounded by more trees and mountains. Within the last couple of years Jeanine and Lowell have enjoyed many days in their new log home in the beautiful surroundings that God created. Lowell was laid to rest amongst a grove of trees next to their cabin.

Lowell was a faithful believer in the Lord and served Him until the end of his life. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church, served with Gideons International distributing Bibles, was a long time volunteer with a jail ministry in Orange County, California and served with a hospital visitation ministry.

Lowell is preceded in death by his parents Mamie Christie and John and Rubine Fitzgerald, his sister and brother Ada Meyers and Morris Christie and his beloved granddaughter Aubrey Elizabeth Runsick.

Lowell is survived by his devoted wife Jeanine, his children, John Fitzgerald (Anne), Charisse Thompson (Jeff), Ava Kwasniewski (Jeff), and James Fitzgerald (Toija); eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sisters Camille Bourgeois, Colleen Steinbach, Frieda Lynn, Tina Minter, Victoria Christie, and brother Wallace Christie and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

To his last days Lowell continued to pursue big ideas. He had plans for more development at Boomer and for planting a church in Bora Bora to serve English speakers.

This is still a work in progress for friends and family. With God’s help Lowell did “finish strong.”