Cover photo for John Lawrence Fitzgerald, Jr.'s Obituary
John Lawrence Fitzgerald, Jr. Profile Photo
1929 Fitz 2023

John Lawrence Fitzgerald, Jr.

July 6, 1929 — December 19, 2023

A live stream will begin when the Service starts around 10:30 am CST on Wednesday, December 27, 2023. To view, please click on the blue "Click to watch" link under the "Service Schedule" section, or visit the following link:

John Lawrence “Larry” Fitzgerald Jr, 94, of Kansas City, MO passed away December 19, 2023, surrounded by his family.  Visitation will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 27 followed by Rosary at 10:15 a.m. and Mass at 10:30 a.m. at Visitation Catholic Church, 5141 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64112. Immediately following Mass, a reception will be held at Tighe Hall at Visitation followed by a procession to the Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at 7601 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO 64138.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Patricia M. Fitzgerald Scholarship at St. Teresa's Academy, 5600 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64113 or the Sean S. Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund at Rockhurst High School, 9301 State Line Rd., Kansas City, MO 64114.

John, also known as “Larry” or “Fitz”, was born July 6, 1929, the eldest son of John “Jack” and Mary Elizabeth “Betty" (Mulvihill) Fitzgerald, in Kansas City, MO and grew up at 3810 Flora in KCMO.  After attending St. James Grade School and Lillis High School, John went to Benedictine College for two years before transferring to Rockhurst College, where he played football and was later inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame.  In February 1951, John voluntarily enlisted in the Army.  However, in August 1951, just days before being shipbound for Korea, John was medically discharged due to a knee injury.  In 1952, John moved to South Bend, Indiana for a one-year seminary program sponsored by the Holy Cross Fathers.  While John ultimately decided that priesthood was not his calling, he did take advantage of living on campus to attend his first Notre Dame football game.  John would return to South Bend more than 25 times with friends, his children and grandchildren over the course of his lifetime.

In 1953, John enrolled in Kansas City University (now UMKC) School of Law.  After graduating from law school, John went to work at the Federal Aviation Administration, where he remained until retirement in 1996.  As both a side gig and a way to give back to the Catholic community, John provided legal representation to more than 600 parents over the course of 30 years who were adopting children through Catholic Charities. 

In 1954, he met his beautiful bride-to-be Patricia Connor. They were married on February 4, 1956 at Redemptorist Church.  From that union they had seven children. John enjoyed coaching the 7th & 8th grade Visitation football team alongside Dick Miller, where they achieved several parochial league championships.  He also loved traveling, especially to Ireland, Vail, Colorado and Siesta Key, Florida.  John was a voracious reader, particularly of WW II history, presidential biographies, and spiritually enlightening works. John was a man of faith and family.  He prayed the rosary every day and loved nothing more than spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his wife, his eldest son Sean, his parents, and his brothers Tom and Ed.  He is survived by his brother Jim (Irene) Fitzgerald; children, Tim and his wife Leanne; Vince; Mike and his wife Amy; Ann and her husband Joe Hodes; Marty and his wife Jeanne; Megan and her husband Brian Schaefer; twenty grandchildren, Kyle Fitzgerald, Erin (Matt) Bell, Ann Marie (Paul) Mattli, Henry (Emily) Hodes, Sean Hodes, Connor (Cara) Fitzgerald, Maggie (Matt) Hockenson, Taylor Fitzgerald, Joseph (Mary) Hodes, Luke (Pedro) Fitzgerald, Grace (Vic) Kenner, Madison “Maddie” Fitzgerald, Jack Hodes, McKinley (Russell) Williams, Sarah Schaefer, Cecilia Hodes, John Fitzgerald, Kate Schaefer, Hayes Fitzgerald, Michael Schaefer; 14 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. 

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Kansas City Hospice, Beth Dierks, Angie Maschler, and Alfornce Kiprono for providing compassionate care in his final days.  A very special thanks to Dana Hlboik, for her loving care, kindness, and friendship over the last two years.

Condolences may be left for the family below.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

9:00 - 10:15 am (Central time)

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

10:15 - 10:30 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)


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Reception immediately following Mass in Tighe Hall

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Committal Service Burial

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

1:30 - 1:45 pm (Central time)

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