The Obit For Ned Fitzgibbons

Edward Spence Fitzgibbons

Published in The Boston Globe on August 14, 2009

FITZGIBBONS, Edward Spence Known as Ned, died Tuesday August 11th at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center from complications following a heart attack. He was eight days shy of his 88th birthday.

Ned was a resident of Naples, FL and New London, NH. Born on August 19, 1921 to Harold Fitzgibbons and Angeline Spence Fitzgibbons in Brockton, MA. Ned grew up in the towns of Whitman and Duxbury on Massachusetts' South Shore.

An outstanding baseball player and student, Ned attended Milton Academy (Class of 1940) where he was captain of the baseball team. He graduated from Harvard (Class of 1944) with a BA in Romance Languages and was awarded the Barrett Wendell Jr. Bat for the most effective man at bat in 1942. Ned was signed by the Boston Red Sox and played AAA in Scranton before being called up for active duty in WWII.

He served as an officer in the 11th Airborne Division of the U.S. Army Parachute Troops rising to Captain in 1946. During his tour of Japan after V Day, he organized the first baseball game between the U.S. and the Japanese.

After the war, Ned began his career in the shoe and leather business at the family firm, E.P. Fitzgibbons in Whitman, MA. In 1947 he joined Blanchard Brothers & Lane, a large upholstery tanner headquartered in Newark, NJ that served the automotive industry. He rose to the position of President in 1956 and also served as the Chairman of the Upholstery Leather Group of the Tanners Council.

Ned migrated to Hanover Shoe, a shoe manufacturing concern located in Hanover, PA, in 1958 where he served as President from 1962-1974. In 1975 Ned joined Melville Corp. as Senior Vice President of their shoe manufacturing operation and from 1981 was President of Melville Footwear Manufacturing.

Ned was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Footwear Industries Assoc. He was also a Director and Vice Chairman of Howes Leather Co. in Quincy, MA.

While living in Pennsylvania, Ned served as President of the Board of Hanover General Hospital as well as a member of the Board of Directors of York College and National Central Financial Corp. of Lancaster, PA. He was also a Director of the Nashua Corp. in Nashua, NH.

Ned is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Patricia May Fitzgibbons, his four children Spence, Lisa, Caroline and Stephen, and his eight grandchildren. Ned also leaves his siblings Ann, Jim and Harry.

Services will be held at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Duxbury, MA at 10am on Saturday August 15th.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the H. Reginald and Rebecca Lord Nash Scholarship at Milton Academy, 170 Centre St., Milton, MA 02186.

The scholarship benefits a motivated boy with academic and athletic promise. For online condolences please go to: www.shepherdfuneralhome.com