The Obit For Howie Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, Howard Chumney


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 community’s prominent citizens and one of the Texas League’s 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 Fitzgerald’s 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 charge.

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.