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Robert J. Fitzgerald, 73, a star athlete at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Niagara University, died Aug. 10, 1999, in Golden Gate Manor nursing home, Cheektowaga, after a long illness.

He retired from the Ford Stamping Plant in Woodlawn several years ago.

At St. Joe's, he excelled in football, basketball and baseball and pitched the baseball team to the Georgetown Cup championship in 1943. He went two years without losing a game.

He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving as an aviation machinist's mate. After the service, he enrolled at Niagara and pitched for the baseball team from 1948 to 1952. He continued to pitch for amateur and semiprofessional teams in the area after earning a degree in economics.

Survivors include his wife, the former Susanne Kilbride of West Seneca; two daughters, Susan Clark of Hamburg and Lynne Schifano of Orchard Park; two sons, Robert J. Jr. and James F., both of West Seneca; a brother, Thomas of Amherst; and seven grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Aug. 12 in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.


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