Thursday, May 20, 2021

Sad News, Pioneering Female NYPD Detective, Rivercross Resident And Long Time Roosevelt Islander Mary Eileen Fitzgerald Passed Away May 19 At 98 Year Of Age - A Woman Of Distinction, Condolences To Her Family, NYPD Colleagues, Friends & Neighbors

Sad news to report. Long time Roosevelt Island resident and pioneering member of the New York Police Department Mary Eileen Fitzgerald passed away yesterday. According to her obituary provided by the John Krtil Funeral Home: 

Mary Eileen Fitzgerald (January 17, 1923 - May 19, 2021)

On May 19, 2021 Mary Eileen Fitzgerald, pioneer resident of Rivercross, passed on to her reward at 98 years of age. After signing a lease in 1976, she eventually moved into Rivercross. At that time Mary was still working for the New York Police Department (N.Y.P.D.). In 1952 she was sworn into the Department and was considered a pioneer in the field of police work for women. In 1952 there were not many female officers serving the City of New York. She and the other policewomen were called trail-blazers. She herself had never seen or heard of women police prior to her entrance into the Police Department. A friend, referred to by Mary as her “angel friend”, encouraged her to take the entrance examinations which she met with success. Until approximately 1969 policewomen were not permitted to take promotional exams just because they were women. The only way women were given recognition for dedicated and professional police work was by appointment to the grade of Detective as a promotion, which Mary achieved. 

Mary was a life-time resident of New York City, having been born in the Bronx to parents who immigrated from Ireland. She was the only survivor of four children, and unfortunately her father died suddenly in 1938 in the heart of the Great Depression. With the values instilled by their father and with their wonderful mother at the helm, they survived the Depression. They had learned from both parents the values, the confidence, and the will to prepare them for life. They were taught by example always to “give back” to friends, their community and to great causes. 

After Mary retired from the N.Y.P.D. in 1983, she remained active in volunteer work on Roosevelt Island and also in Manhattan. She volunteered for the Cabrini Thrift Shop, the Homeless Shelter at Good Shepherd, the R.I. Historical Society, St. Frances Cabrini Parish and Byrd Coler Hospital Auxiliary. She also volunteered for Catholic Charities preparing layettes for needy mothers-to-be, at memorial Sloane-Kettering Hospital, the Mary Manning Walsh Home and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

 In 2018, Mary was recognized as a New York State Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate. She is survived by her nephews, Peter, Mark, and Vincent; a niece, Jeanne; two grand-nieces, Lauren and Marissa Fitzgerald; and a grand-nephew, John Fitzgerald. The Quality of Mary’s Life was extended by her loving caregivers: Maritza, Blanca, Kamo, Shalini. 

Visitation will be at John Krtil Funeral Home on Sunday May 23, 2021 from 2pm-5pm & 7pm-9pm. Mass of Christian Burial 10AM on May 24, 2021 at St. John Nepomucene Roman Catholic Church (66th St & 1st Ave). Interment to follow at St. Raymond’s Cemetery Bronx, NY at 11:45AM 

*En lieu of flowers donations to the St. Francis of Assisi Breadline, which has been distributing food to the Homeless on a daily basis since 1930, may be sent to St. Francis of Assisi, 135 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001 #212-736-8500.

In 2018 Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano honored Ms Fitzgerald 

as a Woman Of Distinction.

Here's the June 27, 2018 Woman Of Distinction award ceremony for Ms Fitzgerald.

Ms Fitzgerald was truly an inspiring pioneer in so many ways. Condolences to her family, NYPD colleagues, friends and neighbors.
UPDATE 5/21: UPDATE 5/22: