Fitzgerald, Howard Chumney
H. C. FITZGERALD DIES IN TRUCK WRECK OF EAGLE LAKE THURS.
The Eagle Lake Headlight, March 5, 1959
Tragedy struck swiftly
again in Eagle Lake shortly afternoon last Thursday when a traffic accident
snuffed out the life of one of this communitys prominent citizens
and one of the Texas Leagues most colorful outfielders, Howard C.
Fitzgerald. He was killed almost instantly when his pickup truck turned
over after going out of control on a dirt road 4.4 miles southwest of
Matthews and ten miles south of Eagle Lake at around 12:15 p.m.
Mr. Fitzgerald was alone in the pickup truck and was apparently returning
home from his farm, when the truck skidded out of control on the slick
road and overturned in a ditch. He was thrown clear of the truck and into
a ditch on the first roll, according to James Edds, driver of a Pepsi
Cola truck which was following Fitzgeralds truck on the road, reported
Highway Patrolman Tom Halbert, who investigated the accident.
The driver and several Negro residents at a nearby house reached Mr. Fitzgerald
before he passed away however he was pronounced dead by Dr. J. R. Laughlin
when he reached the scene shortly afterwards.
Funeral services were held for Mr. Fitzgerald, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, February
27 from the Christ Episcopal Church with the Rev. Milton Williams of St.
Francis Episcopal Church of Houston officiating.
Interment was in the Masonic Cemetery with Mill-Bauer Funeral Home in
Pallbearers were Joe D. Luna, C. E. Johnson, S. S. Sinclair, G. C. Duncan,
Earl Rodgers, Jr. and Frank Aiken of Houston.
Mrs. R. R. Wells, Jr., played favorite hymns at the organ.
Howard Chumney Fitzgerald was born on May 16th, 1902 in Eagle Lake to
Dr. Howard Fitzgerald and Ruby Chumney Fitzgerald, and he resided in and
out of Eagle Lake for his entire life. From 1920 to 1933 he was an outstanding
baseball player in the major and minor leagues, following a brilliant
career at the University of Texas. A further account of his baseball activities
may be found on the sports page of this issue.
On March 3rd, 1924 he was married to Miss Lue Fell Dromgoole in Eagle
Lake. She and a daughter and a son, Mrs. N. F. McDonald of Houston and
Howard Herbert Fitzgerald of Eagle Lake and two grandchildren, Julia Ann
and Carolyn Minette McDonald of Houston survive.
At the end of his baseball career in 1939, Mr. Fitzgerald returned here
to open a cleaning and pressing business which he owned until his death.
During the past few years, he had devoted much of his time to farming
interests in the Matthews area.
He was a member of the Eagle Lake Masonic Lodge, was a former Rotarian,
served on the Eagle Lake School Board, and was a member of the T Association
of the University of Texas.
Despite his unusual record as a baseball player, relatively few present
day residents knew of many of his untold accomplishments. This unusual
trait of modesty and the willingness to be a part of the team accounted
for his success in life itself as well as on the baseball diamond.