Robert Fitzsimmons

Robert Fitzsimmons

August 22nd, 1955 November 18th, 2020

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Obituary for Robert Fitzsimmons

Our brother Bob died Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at the age of 65, not suddenly, not unexpectedly, but after nearly two months in a hospital bed as his heart, kidney and liver all failed. The body failed way ahead of the mind. Those who knew Bob well were not surprised by his stubborn determination not to die and his ultimate, even though difficult, acceptance of the inevitable. Bob, who was never married nor had any children, is survived by his three brothers - John, Thomas and James, two nieces - Kate and Mary, and nephew John.
We’ve heard from many of Bob’s friends and co-workers over the last few days. The same quote keeps getting repeated “He was a good man and a good friend.” There’s no better way to be remembered and for us, that is comforting. Thanks to all who have and continue to reach out.
Bob was avid outdoorsman and hunter. He enjoyed it, was good at it and, as was his way, let the rest of us who would join him on his adventures know when we didn’t measure up to his standards and expectations. Bob didn’t suffer fools lightly, but he was fair and ethical. Bob loved his work and loved to work. He always applied himself with full force throughout his various careers. Most recently, Bob ran the Building Department and served as Fire Marshal for the Town of Harrison. He was proud of his team and was a consummate, ethical professional, applying the laws and code equitably and without regard for status, party or any other factors. He “retired” a few years ago, at the suggestion of the town management, specifically because he approached his job with an ethical sense of fairness rather than politics. That was Bob - the rules applied to all.
Those that knew Bob, knew a man that had a hard and more than occasionally gruff (to be polite) exterior, but a heart of gold willing to help any friend. When our mother’s health deteriorated to the point of requiring 24 hr. care, it was Bob who lived with her and made sure that she got to stay in her home for as long as possible. When she was finally moved to a nursing facility, it was Bob who visited her every day. Mom was not always easy to deal with and Bob the brunt of that work, sometimes at the expense of his own wellbeing. We are indebted to him for that effort.
For those that think there are no roll-on effects of Covid-19, think again. We will see more ‘Bobs” in the coming months - people with underlying health issues that had treatment and diagnosis delayed or slowed the attendant Covid-related restrictions and the strain on the health system. Bob’s heart issues pre-dated Covid and he may or may not have been able to receive treatment that could have altered the course of his life, but not being able to see doctors in person ( telemedicine does have its limit) or have surgery during this past spring certainly didn’t help. For those with underlying health issues, Bob’s message, including to me and my brothers who are not paragons of health, is to be more vigilant than him and don’t delay or defer your care.
Finally, family is sometimes complicated. Our parents had four boys. We weren’t always on the best of terms and sometimes indifferent about our relationship with each other. Mom, who died earlier this year, always hoped that we would be closer. Ironically, Bob’s decline in health and eventual death may have achieved that goal. In the past few weeks, the four of us have been closer than in the last 50 years. We all got to spend time with each other over the last few weeks and were able to see the best in each other. We will work to make that endure.
Bob was our brother, our uncle and our friend - he will be missed but not forgotten. His funeral details are below. For now, we’ll leave you with the lyrics from Disturbed’s wonderfully appropriate song - Hold on to Memories:
Listen, everyone
The time will come when all of us say goodbye
Feel that aching in your heart
Leaving you broken inside
But we're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in your mind
So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Make a ride of this world while you can
Take the ones you love
And hold them close because there is little time
And don't let it break your heart
I know it feels hopeless sometimes
But they're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in your mind
And hold on to memories
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive
The world's greatest tragedy
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive

Funeral Details:
Nov 30: Visitation at Westchester Funeral Home from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm
Dec 1: Mass of Christian Burial at Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe, 10:30 am
Note: We’re not planning on any get together after the mass and burial. Instead, we will look for a time in the spring, hopefully post-Covid, where we can all gather safely and celebrate Bob’s life.

Those wishing to honor Bob’s memory are welcome to do so by contributing to one of his favorite causes - the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    November 30th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Westchester Funeral Home, Inc.
    190 Main Street
    Eastchester, NY
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    November 30th, 2020
    4:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Service

    December 1st, 2020 | 10:30am
    Immaculate Conception Church
    53 Winter Hill Rd.
    Tuckahoe, NY
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    December 1st, 2020
  • Interment

    Holy Mount Cemetery
    Cemetery Lane
    Eastchester, New York
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Donations are being accepted for: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Inc..

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Anna Pilloni

Rest In Peace.
Anna P.
Comment | Posted at 11:05am via Condolence

Renee Tucker

We were so sorry to hear about Bob's passing. We were next door neighbors to Bob & his Mom for 18 years. He was always a gentleman with a smile & a story. Please accept our condolences.
Renee & Terry Tucker
Comment | Posted at 03:57pm via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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