Geoffrey "Jeff" FitzGerald

Geoffrey “Jeff” John FitzGerald completed his earthly journey September 26, 2022. A celebration of life will occur at a later date.

Jeff was born October 4, 1955 to the late Christopher James FitzGerald III and Margaret Dell (Daly) in Evanston, IL. Jeff’s younger years were lived out amongst the water, woods and treehouses of Evanston, Cincinnati, and his family’s longest-held home of Oak Park, IL. The fourth of nine children, Jeff became known to his siblings as “Adventure Boy,” due to his intrepid spirit.

He attended Oak Park River Forest High School and Harrington College of Design. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Marie (Riggs), for 29 years. They shared homes and businesses in McGregor and Minneapolis, MN, before a houseboating trip led them to small-town living in Lansing. There, they opened FitzGerald’s Inn Bed & Breakfast and completed their family of four children, before settling in Dubuque in 1997.

Jeff had a deep love for the Mississippi River, historic buildings, gardening, and bringing life back to everything from plants and flowers to hardwood floors and trim. He had a discerning eye for restoration and renovation. Where some saw lost cause, Jeff saw potential. He was passionate about painting, architecture, and historic preservation. He breathed beauty, life and historic integrity back into numerous buildings over the years.

Wherever Jeff was, music was playing. A lover of all genres, he enjoyed setting the scene of any family event with music, lighting, great food and room for dancing.

Never lost for words, Jeff had a rich store of anecdotes for any listening ear. Where laughter was needed, he could provide. His jocular nature and infectious laugh could cure most ailments. Jeff was dynamic and resilient. He overcame illness for the better part of three decades, surpassing expectations and always living by his own terms and timeline.

Jeff is survived by his children, Meghan FitzGerald, Kyle (Callie) FitzGerald and Erin FitzGerald, all of Dubuque, and Riley FitzGerald of Fort Wayne, IN; their mother, Marie FitzGerald; and his eight grandchildren, Mikayla and Elijah Farber, Ruby FitzGerald, Jaylen, Michelle and Maleyah FitzGerald, Tyler Cassady and Wesley FitzGerald-Meekins. He is also survived by seven siblings, Mary, Bill, Chris, Sheila, Brian, Catherine and Terry, along with his brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many cherished nieces, nephews and cousins. Jeff was preceded in death by his beloved parents and a sister, Margaret “Peggy” FitzGerald.

Jeff’s family would like to extend a sincere thank you to those involved in his care throughout the years at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, MercyOne, Medical Associates;  especially Dr. Jeffrey Meier, Dr. Stephen Frommelt, and the wonderful staff at Dubuque’s Visiting Nurse Association (VNA).

As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to the Dubuque VNA via the Finley Health Foundation, 350 N. Grandview, Dubuque, IA 52001.