Niskayuna — Kent G. FitzGerald, age 81, passed away on October 30th, 2019 with his family by his side. He was born on December 27th, 1937 in Hudson, NY to the late Gerald and Claire FitzGerald (Martin).
Kent grew up in Hampton Manor, East Greenbush NY, and attended Columbia High School, where he excelled at track and field, setting several school records. After high school, he joined General Electric in Schenectady NY, where he began working days as an apprentice on a production line making small appliances, and attending Union college at night via the GE work/study program. He graduated from Union with a BS in Electrical Engineering, and was promoted to a Quality Control Engineer position in gas turbine parts manufacturing. Ten years later, he once again attended night school to earn his MBA. He built his entire career at General Electric, primarily managing quality assurance for multiple areas of the gas turbine division.
Prior to his retirement at age 55, he had been instrumental in the orderly shutdown of gas turbine manufacturing in Schenectady, and his last post was as the Manager of Quality Assurance for LSTG Generator Manufacturing. He was well-liked and respected by his coworkers, many of whom he called friends. He enjoyed attending his monthly GE retiree breakfasts and luncheons, which kept him in touch with his fellow GE alumni. He often said the best part about working at GE was the friends he made there.
Kent was an avid boater, and always looked forward to his summer months on the water. He enjoyed teaching his children how to waterski, and when they grew up and moved out, he taught the neighborhood children instead. It didn’t matter whether it was on skis, tubes, kneeboards or homemade contraptions, he was happiest when he was towing a laughing kid behind his boat. He loved his annual family trips to the NJ shore, and spending time in his garage workshop, which he initially used to keep his kids' old cars running, and later to build himself a 19 foot sailboat. He could build and fix just about anything, and enjoyed doing his own maintenance and repairs around his house, as well as volunteering his time and expertise to help with the assorted projects of his children and friends. He was a kind, gentle man who was always willing to help friends and family in any way he could, and was loved immensely. In turn, he supported and loved his family fiercely, and spent as much time as possible with his children and grandchildren. He was always there to celebrate their successes, commiserate their failures, and be a constant presence to cheer them on, offer advice, or pick them up and dust them off if they stumbled. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Kent is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Claire (Martin), and his beloved wife of 43 years, Connie (DelBalso). He is survived by his brother Mike and his sister Sandy; his sons Mark FitzGerald and wife Anne; Brian FitzGerald and wife Sabrina; Kevin FitzGerald and wife Heidi; his daughter Gail (Cerruti) and husband Tony; his grandchildren Will FitzGerald, Mia Cerruti, Luca Cerruti, and Connor FitzGerald, as well as many loved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Relatives and close friends are invited to attend a calling hour between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, November 9th, at Newcomer Funeral home, 343 New Karner Rd, Albany, NY 12205. Calling hour will be followed by a funeral service at 2:00pm. Interment services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Kent’s name to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at https://www.lbda.org/donate