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Born in Fort Wadsworth, Patrick Fitzsimmons had lived in Huguenot for 33 years.
He was an enthusiastic 27-year career member of the city Fire Department, retiring from Ladder 77 in Stapleton as a lieutenant in 2007.
"He loved being a fireman,'' said his wife of 33 years, Joann. He'd wanted to be a fireman ever since he was a kid. He loved going to work every day.'' Mr. Fitzsimmons was the son of a fire captain and was particularly proud when his own son, Patrick, Jr., became a firefighter.
Mr. Fitzsimmons was named Firefighter of the Month in 2005 by the Advance for recovering two badly injured victims from a Tompkinsville fire.
In addition to helping at Ground Zero on his own time, Mr. Fitzsimmons traveled to New Orleans for two weeks after Hurricane Katrina to participate in the search and rescue and fire protection operations there. While there, he also helped residents remove debris and clean their homes on his days off.
An alumnus of St. Peter's Boys High School, Mr. Fitzsimmons attended Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo.
Through the years, Mr. Fitzsimmons coached many youth sports teams for the South Shore Little League, Mid-Island Pee-Wee football and CYO basketball programs. He was so admired and loved by his daughters' friends that they gave him Father's Day gifts and cards, his family recalled.
A fitness and running enthusiast, Mr. Fitzsimmons had completed several marathons, including the New York City Marathon and the Atlantic City Marathon. He also enjoyed weightlifting.
He was a parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea R. C. Church, Huguenot.