Joseph Anthony Fitzpatrick – Captain, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

Joseph Anthony Fitzpatrick, 74, a retired Navy nuclear submarine Captain who volunteered for Washington area Catholic organizations, died of complications from a stroke July 22, 2002, at his home in Potomac, Maryland.

He had lived in Potomac since 1969.

Captain Fitzpatrick, a native of Weehawken, New Jersey, was a 1951 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

He served as an officer on the first generation of nuclear submarines in the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 1960s, he was the commanding officer of two Polaris nuclear-missile submarines, the USS Casimir Pulaski and the USS Sam Rayburn.

He served at the Pentagon from 1969 until retiring in 1979 as a staff member for the chief of naval operations.

Among his decorations were three awards of the Navy Commendation Medal and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

He had been a volunteer for the Josephite Catholic order and for the Archdiocese of Washington. He had led a prayer and song group at the Randolph Nursing Home in Potomac. Since the 1970s, he also had been an active leader in Montgomery County meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Captain Fitzpatrick was a member of St. Raphael Catholic Church in Rockville.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Patricia S. Fitzpatrick of Potomac; their eight children, Bo, of Rockville, Francis, of Monroe, Connrcticut, Daniel, of North Potomac, Brigid Edelen of Sparks, Maryland, Peggy Calvello of Massapequa, New York, Susie Rector of Ellicott City, Tisha Walsh of Kensington and Resa Kennedy of Scottsdale, Arizona; two brothers; a sister; and 20 grandchildren.


Peacefully, at home, surrounded by family and friends, on Monday, July 22, 2002. Husband of Patricia Sommerkamp Fitzpatrick; loving father of Brigid Edelen, Maureen Fitzpatrick, Peggy Calvello, Susie Rector, Tisha Walsh, Resa Kennedy, Bo Fitzpatrick, Fran Fitzpatrick and Dan Fitzpatrick; inspirational brother of Jack Fitzpatrick, Paddy Fitzpatrick and Sr. Maureen Fitzpatrick, F.S.P.; and magnificent grandfather of 20. The family will receive friends at St. Raphael's Catholic Church, Falls and Dunster Roads, Potomac, Maryland, on Thursday, July 25, 2002 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., where a Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, July 26 at 11 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Montgomery County Stroke Club, PO Box 2052, Silver Spring, MD 20915.

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