My most unforgettable character


| fbedell@queenscourier.com |



I have just lost a good friend, mentor, and a brother knight, who has just passed away . I owed a lot to William P. Fitzgerald of Little Neck [Queens] who has meant a lot to many diiferent people in many walks of life as well. Now I’m Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus council #5911 in Douglaston, where Bill has been an esteem member of my council. Here is a man who had served 20 years in the United States Army as a Master Sergeant and who served both in Korean and the Vietnam conflicts.

In the Knights of Columbus he has been a Grand Knight, Former District Deputy and has served as an officer on the Queens County Conference, Long Island Chapter, and the Long Island Conference. He has also held many different state position in the Knights of Columbus and most recently he has served as Chairman of Veterans Affairs. Bill has been dedicated to the principals of our order which are Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. But most importantly has been his works of charity that makes him most reverred. With all this he never wanted recognition for what he did. An example of this is when we told him he was named,” Knight of the Year,” and that he was to be the honoree at the upcoming Communion Breakfast and that was in 2009. He said no don’t do it for there are many more that were more worthy than himself. We told him it was too late and that the arrangements have been made and important people were invited . He than relented and accepted this high honor.

At the breakfast he received awards on the local, district, state and at the international level of our order. Bill had many troubles in his life and the loss of love ones, whereas he lost two sons who were in their fifties due to illness. I think as a parent we all expect our children to live beyond our own existence and that must have given Bill much pain. He also lost a wife who pass away. Yet on the other hand he had much joy by remarrying a most caring and loving wife named Pat who will indeed miss him very much. Bill has been active in St. Anastasia parish in Douglaston, the community and in the Knights of Columbus on many different levels. I remember Bill had once told me when I became Grand Knight,” Fred you are doing a good job and I am counting on you not to let me down.” Well I never did because I made this promise to Bill. I think when some people retire they might relax and rest on their laurels but not Bill. Bill has worked hardener with firm dedication to various charitable causes like forinstants spearheading programs to fund  the disable and the special Olympics. Bill was 80 years young when he passed away the other day and will be dearly missed.

This I truely discovered when I went to his wake, where there was standing room only. He truely was loved by many and that was truely remarkable. Thanks William P. Fitzgerald for inspiring myself and many of us who benefited from your guildence.For you always tried to help those in need and for that you will be most dearly missed.