Obituary Listings

Robert George Fitzgerald

October 13, 1947 September 3, 2018
Robert George Fitzgerald
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Obituary for Robert George Fitzgerald

Robert G. Fitzgerald was born October 13, 1947 in Charles City, Iowa where his father, the late Robert L. Fitzgerald, Jr. had found a management job in a chicken medicine factory after leaving the Navy at the end of WWII. R.L. Fitzgerald was a reserve Navy officer and was recalled for service in the Korean War, so the family moved from Minneapolis to Staten Island, NY, to Bremerton, WA and the San Diego area, all within one year. Robert G. started school in the very overcrowded public schools of Imperial Beach, CA, just north of the Mexican border. Later, the family moved to the LA area and then, for two years, to Sasebo, Japan. Next came the Chicago area. Robert G. started high school in Libertyville, Ill, then attended a high school in suburban Maryland and finally graduated from the DoD Dependent School north of London, England. A National Merit semi-finalist, Robert G. then entered the University of Chicago.
After dropping out of the University of Chicago, Robert G. dropped in on the graduate student apartment of his sister Susan F. Chipman and her husband Eric in Cambridge, MA. Susan suggested that Robert look for a job involving computers. He found a job as a night computer operator for a big Boston bank. That was the beginning of his career in computing. Without any formal training, he became a systems programmer. Many years later, he and two co-workers at the Kiplinger Corporation decided to found a small company, Softworks, to produce and sell systems software for large IBM computers. Their goal was to improve upon the performance of IBM’s own systems software which they knew well. The company succeeded, although not without struggles in the early years. After 15 years, the company had to be sold so that the oldest of the partners, who had already retired from the military, could really retire. Robert also retired early at that time, in 1999.
For a number of years while working at the Kiplinger Corporation and during the early years of the company, Robert G. lived in his parents’ townhouse in Wolftrappe Square in Vienna, VA. When the commute to the Softworks location in Maryland became too difficult, he purchased a townhouse in Alexandria, VA, near the bridge. When he retired, he suddenly noticed that his townhouse had no view, so he purchased a high rise condo with a spectacular view in the first of the Carlyle Towers buildings in Alexandria.
In retirement, he often solved the computer problems of his fellow condo residents and family members, without charge. He devoted considerable time to meeting the needs of his mother, the late Margaret S. Fitzgerald, who had moved from Vienna, VA to the Greenspring retirement community. Unfortunately he also fell under the influence of alternative medicine gurus who led him to scorn conventional medicine. After several years of decline largely resulting from this unwise choice, he died September 3, 2018 in the ICU of BridgePoint Rehabilitation Hospital.
Robert is survived by his sister Susan F. Chipman of Boulder, CO and his cousin Nancy Montague of Arlington, VA as well as several other cousins distributed across the U.S.
Condolences in remembrance of Robert G. Fitzgerald can be left on the website of the Money & King Funeral Home. Services private.


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